- By Louella Losinio
OPA: $491K taken from airport passenger facility funds
A Guam-based manager of an unnamed air carrier allegedly embezzled around $491,000, which were taken from the passenger facility charges (PFC) collected by air carriers at the time of air travel ticket issuance.
According to the latest audit report issued by the Office of Public Accountability on the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport Authority, the alleged embezzlement occurred between 2016 and 2018. According to the report, the manager paid the airport using his personal checks rather than with the corporate account.
OPA received the hotline tip on Jan. 2019.
The PFC, along with quarterly reports, are submitted to the airport. The OPA submitted this information to the independent auditors, who in turn, identified this issue as a significant deficiency.
The latest FY2018 OPA report also identified one material weakness relating to internal controls over projects that are currently in progress. According to the report, airport management revisited the status of all projects and identified $2.6 million in projects that should have been closed-out in earlier periods.
According to OPA, the airport’s operating revenues decreased by $1.1 million, going from $70 million in FY2017 to $68.9 million in FY2018. The decrease in revenues was due primarily to decreases in concession fees and facilities and systems usage charges.
Concession fees decreased by $1.2 million, going from $24.3 million in FY 2017 to $23 million in FY 2018. Facilities and systems usage charges decreased by $700 thousand, going from $29 million in FY2017 to $28.3 million in FY2018.
However, OPA said the airport’s operating costs and expenses also decreased by $885,000, going from $43.6 million in FY2017 to $42.7 million in FY 2018. The decrease was primarily attributed to a $4.4 million decrease in personnel services, going from $18.3 million in FY 2017 to $13.9 million in FY 2018.
The decrease was offset by a $3.7 million increase in contractual services, going from $24 million in FY2017 to $27.7 million in FY2018.
Independent auditors Ernst & Young, LLP rendered an unmodified (clean) opinion on the airport’s financial statements and compliance over major federal programs. The airport closed FY2018 with an increase in net position (net income) of $1.2 million, a decrease from FY2017’s restated net income of $4.2 million.
For the fourth consecutive year, the airport qualified as a low-risk auditee. (Pacific News Center)