Washington– The Trump Administration announced $3.03 million in fiscal year 2020 grant funding to support the U.S. Virgin Islands through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs’ (OIA) Technical Assistance Program. Funds will be used to streamline government operations, incorporate online payment services for taxpayers, and improve the management and utilization of federal grants in the territory.
“The Secretary and I are pleased to support the Virgin Islands with funds to help streamline government operations and public services while also helping to improve the management of federal funds in the territory,” said Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech.
“Through the annual funding support that we receive from Congress every year, OIA is able to support the Virgin Islands and each of our insular areas.”
The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) government will receive $2,536,291 in fiscal year 2020 Technical Assistance Program grant funding as detailed below. In addition, $500,000 will be granted to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials for the benefit of the USVI through the project described below:
USVI Department of Finance - $1,611,291 will be used to upgrade the government’s time and attendance system and provide seamless transition to the government’s financial management system and payroll module.
USVI Bureau of Internal Revenue - $675,000 will be used to create an internet web portal that enables registered businesses in the territory to file business gross receipts, withholding taxes, and conduct other business online 24/7. The portal will also facilitate payment of liabilities either by credit card or direct bank deposits. Currently, businesses may only file by mail or in-person.
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) - $500,000 will be used in a partnering effort between ASTHO and the USVI government to improve federal grants management and usage. Business process improvements that have been instituted at the USVI Department of Health will be incorporated in other government agencies that handle personnel, property and procurement, finance, and budgeting.
USVI Economic Development Authority - $250,000 will be used to develop a program that is designed to resolve multi-generational property ownership issues in the territory. The goal is to help families resolve land titling issues on abandoned buildings and provide funding opportunities to promote business growth and development in historic neighborhoods that are part of the territory’s economic zones.
The OIA Technical Assistance Program is made available each year by Congress to support priorities in the U.S. territories and the freely associated states.