US Virgin Islands Governor Opposes Creation of Chief Financial Officer

USVI Governor John de Johgh

Caribbean Journal Staff…May 23 2012 — US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh is opposing the legislation brought by USVI Delegate Donna Christensen that would create a Chief Financial Officer for the territory.

The governor has submitted testimony to Congress saying the bill “misses the mark” in its diagnosis of the problems facing the territory.

“The government strongly opposes this deeply flawed bill, which purports to address the fiscal imbalances of the government by creating a new bureaucracy rather than addressing their fundamental causes,” de Jongh said. “The government has undertaken aggressive and painful measures, on both the revenue and expenditure side, to meet its extraordinary budget challenges.”

According to de Jongh, the root causes of the territory’s current budget crisis began in 2008, when the USVI saw a drastic drop in revenue.

“The government’s challenges, however, are not expenditures,” he said. “The challenges are revenues.”

De Jongh also said the proposal violated the principles of the House’s Republican majority, as an “intrusion of the federal government into the affairs of state and local governments.” “This proposal represents a step backward in the expansion of self-governance rights,” he said.

Christensen has said she introduced the bill as an “evolution,” aimed at providing greater transparency for the territory.

The proposal would create the post under a five-year pilot programme.

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