In spite of a promise made more than two weeks ago, Premier’s Office officials have not provided any further information about an incomplete list detailing $16 million worth of hurricane donations reportedly received by government after Hurricane Irma.
Chief Information Officer Desiree Smith initially told members of the media that a press conference had been scheduled for Oct. 16 to address any questions about the donations, but later said the briefing had been postponed.
A week later, Ms. Smith had not rescheduled the conference, and she did not respond to an e-mail from the Beacon.
Ms. Smith initially e-mailed the list of donations to members of the media on Oct. 2 after a reporter for the news website BVI Platinum asked for “the figures in terms of hurricane relief ” during a press conference the previous day with Premier Dr. Orlando Smith.
The spreadsheet lists 199 separate donations, as well as donor name and donation “type” and value, but some information appears to be missing.
A column listing the dollar value of 47 donations, for example, lists “0” for 152 others, and no date is provided for 122 of the entries.
The list also does not specify how exactly donations were used in most cases, though it appears to list the government agency that received each one and the surname of a senior official in that agency.
After receiving the list, the Beacon asked government information officers for details that appeared to be missing. Rather than answering, officers promised the press conference, which has not yet been held.
“At this briefing, it is expected that questions and concerns will be addressed and answered,” Chief Information Officer Desiree Smith wrote in an e-mail that also asked the media not to report the donor names included in the spreadsheet, which she described as “sensitive information.”