Federal Inspector General officials gathered in St. Thomas on March 22-23 for the first Virgin Islands Office of Inspector General Spring Symposium to collaborate and share information, according to U.S. Attorney for the V.I., Delia Smith. The symposium aimed to protect the federal funds awarded to the Virgin Islands, particularly after Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in tens of billions of federal funds being allocated to the territory.
Sponsored by the United States Attorney Office and the Virgin Islands OIG Council, the symposium focused on strategies to combat waste, fraud, and abuse, and improve efficiency in federally funded programs in the Virgin Islands. Representatives from 16 Inspector General Offices and federal oversight agencies attended the event, including those from Small Business Administration, Interior, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Treasury, Transportation Security Administration, General Services Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Transportation, U.S. Postal Service, Energy, Labor, Department of Justice and Commerce.
Mark Lee Greenblatt, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior and Chairperson of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, emphasized the importance of collaboration with on-island partners to address misconduct in DOI programs in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other Inspector Generals also expressed their commitment to working together in the Virgin Islands to combat fraud, waste, and abuse and protect the integrity of various programs.