Premier Dr the Honourable Natalio Wheatley believes that the document entitled “ Report of the Auditor General on the COVID-19 Border Security Contracts for Static Marine Platforms” is incomplete.

Wheatley made that argument in the House of Assembly as he rose to debate the contents of the report.

First on his list of concerns was the apparent failure of the Auditor General to consult with or interview parties who Wheatley believed could have provided vital insight on the matter. 

This included EZ Shipping proprietor Clyde Chalwell who is named in the document, Members of the National Security Council at the time and agencies outside of the police who are part of the Joint Task Force.

The Premier said that he has personally had conversations with Mr Chalwell during which some of the claims in the report were refuted.

Wheatley said that having been a member of the NSC at the time scrutinized by the audit, he can confirm that he was not interviewed. 

He added that there are aspects he has identified in the report, as it relates to NSC discussions, with which he disagrees.

Wheatley has also questioned why the audit appears to prioritise the views of the police force over the other members of the JTF.

Conceding that he is not naive to the ongoing investigation into Customs, and the accusations made against Former Premier Andrew Fahie following his arrest, Wheatley asserted that he can only debate the bill based on details which he has been provided officially.

He believes, however, that Virgin Islanders need to be wary of “dangerous conclusions” made in the report and what they could mean for the territory’s aspirations for self governance.

While he says it is right for the Auditor General to produce reports and have them laid before the House of Assembly, as well as making them available to the public; Wheatley believes that it is important that legislators be allowed to comment on such documents before they become completely public.