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U.S. Inspectors General Meet In St. Thomas and Vow To Fight ‘Waste, Fraud, and Abuse’

U.S. Inspectors General Meet In St. Thomas and Vow To Fight 'Waste, Fraud, and Abuse'

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Dozens of federal Inspector General officials gathered in St. Thomas for the first Virgin Islands Office of Inspector General Spring Symposium recently.

The federal oversight and law enforcement officials spent two days collaborating and sharing information as part of their ongoing commitment to protect federal funds awarded to the Virgin Islands.

“As a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Territory received tens of billions of federal funds,” United States Attorney Delia Smith said. “We are committed to ensuring that these funds are properly utilized to improve the lives of the people of the Virgin Islands.”

Sponsored by the United States Attorney Office and the Virgin Islands OIG Council, the symposium focused on identifying strategies to combat waste, fraud and abuse, and to improve efficiency in the federally funded programs in the Virgin Islands.

“The symposium was an excellent opportunity to do what the Inspector General community does best: work together to combat fraud, waste and abuse across federal government programs,” said 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.

Greenblatt thanked U.S. Attorney Smith for bringing together such a diverse array of federal law enforcement organizations.

“Collaboration with our on-island partners — including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Virgin Islands OIG and local law enforcement — is critical to the DOI OIG’s success here. I look forward to bolstering those partnerships as we work together to identify and address misconduct in DOI programs in the U.S. Virgin Islands”, Greenblatt said.

Inspector General of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Hannibal “Mike” Ware, added that “the inaugural symposium showcased the unwavering commitment of the Inspector General community to combatting waste, fraud and abuse. With potential fraud on the rise, the IG community has implemented a whole-of-government approach by investing in partnerships to bring wrongdoers to justice and reclaim stolen taxpayer dollars.”

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