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Sat Jul 15, 2017, 08:41 AM

The urgent need for a public anti-corruption task force in the US Virgin Islands

On June 30, 2017, the US Virgin Islands Inspector General issued a 76-page written report with scathing findings, entitled Audit of the Department of Education’s Inventory Controls over the School Lunch Program. Among these findings was that $920,000 had been spent on food management software and consultants but these huge expenditures did not correlate to any significant benefits to the School Lunch Program.

In fact, the report concluded that the program has not been “functioning in an efficient and effective manner” for decades and that has made it “susceptible to fraud, waste and abuse”. The direct results are that our children who are attending public schools as well as taxpayers suffer but the wrongdoers continue to benefit.

We have all read and heard about this many times before in the US Virgin Islands. Our Inspector General prepares a written audit report with an analysis of specific issues involving expenditure of public monies and concludes that there has been fraud, waste and abuse of public funds, yet very little, if anything, is ever done to further investigate, arrest and prosecute the wrongdoers. The time has come to have a public anti-corruption task force assembled to fight public corruption in the US Virgin Islands.

Why an anti-corruption task force? In its August 2016 brief entitled Strategies for Increasing and Improving Public Corruption Prosecutions – A Task Force Model, Columbia Law School’s Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity states that a task force is a very efficient way to use limited resources to reach a common goal of combating corruption.

Read more: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-Commentary%3A-The-urgent-need-for-a-public-anti-corruption-task-force-in-the-US-Virgin-Islands-35012.html

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