ST. THOMAS — In an effort to stymie the alarming abuse of government-issued credit cards, Virgin Islands lawmakers on Thursday advanced a bill to heighten the accountability — and penalty — of widespread credit card misuse.

Advancing from the Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee on a 7-0 vote, Bill 33-0069 installs a number of provisions that address the findings of V.I. Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt, who in October released an audit that revealed executive branch employees — from 2013-16 — using credit cards with little or no oversight.

— Contact A.J. Rao at 340-714-9104 or email