H. R. 3706
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
To create the Office of Chief Financial Officer of the Government of the Virgin Islands, and for other purposes.
Chief financial officer of the virgin islands
Appointment of chief financial officer
The Governor of the Virgin Islands shall appoint a Chief Financial Officer, with the advice and consent of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, from the names on the list required under section 2(d). If the Governor has nominated a person for Chief Financial Officer but the Legislature of the Virgin Islands has not confirmed a nominee within 90 days after receiving the list pursuant to section 2(d), the Governor shall appoint from such list a Chief Financial Officer on an acting basis until the Legislature consents to a Chief Financial Officer.
Acting chief financial officer
If a Chief Financial Officer has not been appointed under paragraph (1) within 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Virgin Islands Chief Financial Officer Search Commission, by majority vote, shall appoint from the names on the list submitted under section 2(d), an Acting Chief Financial Officer to serve in that capacity until a Chief Financial Officer is appointed under the first sentence of paragraph (1). In either case, if the Acting Chief Financial Officer serves in an acting capacity for 180 consecutive days, without further action the Acting Chief Financial Officer shall become the Chief Financial Officer.
Duties of chief financial officer
The duties of the Chief Financial Officer shall include the following:
Develop and report on the financial status of the Government of the Virgin Islands not later than 6 months after appointment and quarterly thereafter. Such reports shall be available to the public.
Each year prepare and certify spending limits of the annual budget, including annual estimates of all revenues of the territory without regard to sources, and whether or not the annual budget is balanced.
Revise and update standards for financial management, including inventory and contracting, for the Government of the Virgin Islands in general and for each agency in conjunction with the agency head.
The heads of each department of the Government of the Virgin Islands, in particular the head of the Department of Finance of the Virgin Islands and the head of the Internal Revenue Bureau of the Virgin Islands shall provide all documents and information under the jurisdiction of that head that the Chief Financial Officer considers required to carry out his or her functions to the Chief Financial Officer.
Conditions related to chief financial officer
The Chief Financial Officer shall be appointed for a term of 5 years.
The Chief Financial Officer shall not be removed except for cause. An Acting Chief Financial Officer may be removed for cause or by a Chief Financial Officer appointed with the advice and consent of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands.
If the Chief Financial Officer is unable to continue acting in that capacity due to removal, illness, death, or otherwise, another Chief Financial Officer shall be selected in accordance with subsection (a).
The Chief Financial Officer shall be paid at a salary to be determined by the Governor of the Virgin Islands, except such rate may not be less than the highest rate of pay for a cabinet officer of the Government of the Virgin Islands or a Chief Financial Officer serving in any government or semiautonomous agency.
As part of the closest regularly scheduled, islands-wide election in the Virgin Islands to the expiration of the fourth year of the five-year term of the Chief Financial Officer, the Board of Elections of the Virgin Islands shall hold a referendum to seek the approval of the people of the Virgin Islands regarding whether the position of Chief Financial Officer of the Government of the Virgin Islands shall be made a permanent part of the executive branch of the Government of the Virgin Islands. The referendum shall be binding and conducted according to the laws of the Virgin Islands, except that the results shall be determined by a majority of the ballots cast.
Establishment of commission
There is established a commission to be known as the
Virgin Islands Chief Financial Officer Search Commission.
Duty of commission
The Commission shall recommend to the Governor not less than 3 candidates for nomination as Chief Financial Officer of the Virgin Islands. Each candidate must have demonstrated ability in general management of, knowledge of, and extensive practical experience at the highest levels of financial management in governmental or business entities and must have experience in the development, implementation, and operation of financial management systems.
Number and appointment
The Commission shall be composed of eight members appointed not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. Persons appointed as members must have recognized business, government, or financial expertise and experience and shall be appointed as follows:
One individual appointed by the Governor of the Virgin Islands.
One individual appointed by the President of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands.
One individual, who is an employee of the Government of the Virgin Islands, appointed by the Central Labor Council of the Virgin Islands.
One individual appointed by the Chamber of Commerce of St. Thomas-St. John.
One individual appointed by the Chamber of Commerce of St. Croix.
One individual appointed by the President of the University of the Virgin Islands.
One individual, who is a resident of St. John, appointed by the At-Large Member of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands.
One individual appointed by the President of AARP Virgin islands.
Each member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.
A vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy shall be appointed for the remainder of that term.
Members shall serve without pay.
Five members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.
The Chairperson of the Commission shall be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Virgin Islands or the designee of the Chief Justice. The Chairperson shall serve as an ex officio member of the Commission and shall vote only in the case of a tie.
The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson. The Commission shall meet for the first time not later than 15 days after all members have been appointed under this subsection.
Members may not be current government employees, except for the member appointed under paragraph (1)(C).
The Commission shall transmit a report to the Governor, the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate not later than 60 days after its first meeting. The report shall name the Commission’s recommendations for candidates for nomination as Chief Financial Officer of the Virgin Islands.
The Commission shall terminate upon the nomination and confirmation of the Chief Financial Officer.
For the purposes of this Act, the following definitions apply:
Chief financial officer
In sections 1 and 2, the term Chief Financial Officer means a Chief Financial Officer or Acting Chief Financial Officer, as the case may be, appointed under section 1(a).
The term Commission means the Virgin Islands Chief Financial Officer Search Commission established pursuant to section 2.
The term Governor means the Governor of the Virgin Islands.
Removal for cause
The term removal for cause means removal based upon misconduct, failure to meet job requirements, or any grounds that a reasonable person would find grounds for discharge.
Passed the House of Representatives August 1, 2012.
Karen L. Haas,