The government’s Treasury Department implemented a compliance unit last year in order to ensure that businesses and organisations are adhering to applicable laws, rules and regulations, Accountant General Arnold Ainsley reportedly told the Standing Finance Committee in early December.

Mr. Ainsley didn’t go into more details about the unit, but he did say that it has helped the Treasury Department improve its payment process, according to a report on the closed-door SFC proceedings.

The department has also taken over a pre-audit payment process that has allowed it to “move a little faster and be better able to ensure that [it is] abiding by the law,” the SFC report paraphrased Mr. Ainsley as saying.


Direct payments have also been implemented, where the department sends payments to vendors’ bank accounts and reduces the use of printed cheques, he added.

Mr. Ainsley noted that printing has “become expensive” and was a large part of the department’s budget, according to the SFC report.

His agency is currently working with the Department of Information Technology to ensure that a majority of vendors are in the system for 2023, he said.

He also told legislators that he has worked with 23 countries in the region, and the Virgin Islands is the only one still using a paper payment process.

The department hopes to go fully electronic this year, he added.


Despite staffing issues, the department plans to ramp up in-year reporting and produce reports on a monthly, quarterly and semi-annual basis, Mr. Ainsley told the SFC.

He also said the department has not produced any in-year reports since September 2019.

“In regards to annual reports, the department has completed the audit for 2017 and has submitted the accounts for 2018,” the SFC report stated, adding that the department is “currently working on the accounts for 2019 and is hoping to complete that in the first half of 2023. It is their hope to bring all the accounts up to date before the end of 2023.”