The man who claims he has integrity and he spends Government's funds in a frugal way seems to be selling us fables. His political party, a breakaway group known as Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM), has claimed they are the ones to best manage the territory's finances.
However, information just obtained from senior sources in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour is that Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2), while on an official trip to Egypt last year to attend the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), ran up an internet bill of some eight thousand dollars ($8000.00).
The funds were re-paid from the public purse and regularised in a Supplementary Appropriation Provision (SAP). The notes in the SAP for the $8000.00 stated: 'To supplement subhead for payment for internet charges for the Minister while traveling to Portugal and Egypt to attend 2022 UNC and COP27'.
The funds for the whopping $8000.00
internet bill were re-paid from the public purse and regularised in a
Supplementary Appropriation Provision (SAP).
'Roaming charges were extremely high'- Hon Turnbull
Hon Turnbull told our news centre; however, he is not aware of the whopping internet bill but knows roaming charges would have been high.
"I’m not certain of the amount and have not been notified of the charges. I do know that the roaming charges are extremely high on that side of the earth, and I had to be in constant communication with the Ministry team while at the conference over that two weeks," Hon Turnbull stated.
The Minister promised to look into the matter and provide feedback to our newsroom.
What was his ticket cost?
There have also been mixed information and controversy over Hon Turnbull’s ticket cost to Egypt, with some claiming the cost was as high as twenty-six thousand dollars ($26,000.00); however, the Minister told the public his ticket cost was just about eleven thousand dollars ($11,000.00).
Our news centre cannot confirm the cost of his ticket, but Ministers of Government usually are allowed to travel (fly) first class on official business.
On the campaign trail, Hon Turnbull has accused the Virgin Islands
Party (VIP) of mismanagement of public funds and wasting the social security monies; however, he has not given any examples to support his claim.