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OPA chides agencies for delinquencies that cost GovGuam $78.8M

The Office of Public Auditor chides government agencies for costing Guam $78.8 million due to lack of actions on recommendations om 30 reports it made between 2012 and 2015.

“As this is our fourth report on the status of OPA recommendations, we have continually observed that government managers have not recognized the importance and benefits of implementing effective internal controls (checks and balances),” Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks said in a report released yesterday.

The reports made, which made 64 recommendations to improve accountability and operational effectiveness and efficiency, cited

ineffective billing and collection systems, loss of government revenues, deficient control procedures over non-appropriated funds, and lack of monitoring and oversight over government programs, including non-productive and special payroll payments and procurement procedures.

While the law allows OPA to seek judicial remedy to force the implementation of the recommendations, Brooks said her office has yet to “exercise this arduous and costly remedy.”

“Until a general understanding is embraced, audit findings such as insufficient monitoring and noncompliance with laws and regulations, will continue along with the financial impacts,” OPA said. “A key factor in improving accountability in achieving an entity’s mission is to implement an effective internal control system.”

Of the 64 recommendations, OPA said, 20 are still open. Overall, OPA has issued 151 reports since 2001 with 646 recommendations of which 619, or 96 percent, have been closed while 27, or 4 percent, are still pending action.

Of the $78.8 million in compromised funds, $20.7 million were unrealized revenues and $6.0 million were questioned costs. The remaining $52.1 million were other financial impacts that resulted from significant costs from special lifetime annuities, unverifiable Hotel Occupancy Tax receivables, lost savings if inactive tax credit programs were implemented, lost savings due to purchase of fuel at a higher cost, among others. (The Times News Staff)

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