Elections officials said they got good news after a teleconference with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission on Thursday. The commission representatives were calling to check in with the boards and the V.I. Elections System and provide a status update on the corrective action plan the Elections System implemented following a scathing 2013 audit. In November 2013, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission released an audit that looked at the Elections System’s compliance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002. In the audit report, completed by the Office of the Interior’s Office of the Inspector General, Inspector General Curtis Crider said his office found that the V.I. Elections System’s lax posture on internal controls put $3.3 million in Help America Vote Act funds and other funding at risk of fraud, waste or mismanagement.
In response, Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes, who replaced John Abramson Jr. in August 2013, concurred with all the recommendations and submitted action plans and timelines for each finding.
The audit report found that documentation was lacking to support approximately $1.1 million associated with payroll and procurement deficiencies; inaccurate and late financial reporting; unsecured equipment; and unreported program income.
Fawkes updated the system’s corrective action plan in August 2014, and the Election Assistance Commission reported Thursday that 10 of the 20 items are now considered to be “closed,” or completed.