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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Bill proposes accountability on non-profit use of public funds

Senator Therese Terlaje has introduced a bill that would expand current reporting requirements for non-profit organizations that receive funding through the government of Guam.

Bill 267-35 specifically includes the option for termination of funding if reporting requirements are not followed. The bill also calls for funding sources to be acknowledged on all non-profit or sub-grantee program advertisements.

The bill's introduction came on the heels of the Office of Public Accountability's recent audit report on the Guam Cancer Trust Fund (GCTF), which found inefficiencies, violations and non-compliance with GCTF governing laws, program objectives and lack of documentation. GCTF receives funding from the Healthy Futures Fund.

Specifically, OPA found:

· Lapses and inefficiencies in the management of GCTF revenues;

· Apparent violations or flaws on GCTF payouts; and

· Deficiencies in grant processes and compliance of terms of grants.

“These nonprofits provide critical services for our island community that the government cannot currently provide. This bill in no way discourages them from continuing their great work; it only ensures that the government can accurately account for all tax-payer funds,” Terlaje said.

There are many government of Guam agencies that currently contract non-profits. Among these agencies are the Department of Public Health and Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness. These contracts are vital to address issues of substance abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness in our community.

The Guam Cancer Trust Fund is also used to contract nonprofits and charitable organizations that specialize in cancer screenings, treatment, support services, cancer education, and outreach programs.

For fiscal 2020, $640,000 from the Tourist Attraction Fund is set to be distributed through the Guam Visitors Bureau to 17 non-profits. The work of these non-profits’ encourage the revitalization of our language and culture through educational programs and media.

“The reporting and accountability is critical to the analysis of the impact of these funds and the sustainability of these critical services,” Terlaje said.


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