Governor Bryan Gives Finance Department Sole Responsibility for Government Check Verification Systems

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS—Governor Albert Bryan Jr. has signed an executive order giving the V.I. Finance Department comprehensive responsibility for all aspects of the use of check verification systems used by all agencies and departments of the Government of the Virgin Islands.

The order cites an increase in “Non-Sufficient Funds” (NSF) and tasks the Finance Department with the comprehensive fiscal management and implementation of check verification systems within the Central Government.

In Fiscal Year 2018, the amount of dishonored checks totaled $4.4 million and to date in Fiscal Year 2019, the total amount of dishonored checks is $3 million.

Finance Commissioner Kirk Callwood Sr. said he is grateful for the Governor’s support in tightening the Government of the Virgin Islands’ fiscal controls and it is another step toward the Bryan/Roach Administration’s promise to stabilize and restore trust in the government.

“I would like to thank Governor Bryan for this Executive Order,” Commissioner Callwood said. “This is a great example of the administration’s push to facilitate the widespread use of technology as an enabler to mitigating risk and managing costs.“

The Governor’s executive order also gives the Finance Department the ability to order any agency to use check verification services, making it the sole agency that can procure check verification systems for agencies and departments. Any agency ordered by the Finance Department to use a check verification system cannot refuse to use such a system without the written consent of Finance Commissioner Kirk Callwood Sr. or Governor Albert Bryan Jr.

Also, according to the order, no other agencies are authorized or enabled to procure such services.  Any agency that was ordered to use a check verification system and receives NSF checks that qualify for but were not inputted into the system can lose the value of the NSF checks in future agency monetary releases or appropriations.

The order, which Acting Governor Tregenza A. Roach and Acting Lieutenant Governor Novelle Francis Jr. signed on October 29, went into effect immediately.