What documents cost half a million dollars to produce?
The Committee with Legislative Oversight of the Hagåtña Restoration and Redevelopment Authority (HRRA) is seeking to scrutinize seven unidentified documents which, according to committee chair Sen. Kelly Marsh (Taitano), cost up to $497,000 or more of taxpayer dollars to produce.
“A couple of these documents, labeled 'Final,' were paid out in full last April,” Marsh (Taitano) noted. “I have been asking for copies of some of them since that time so that the committee, well within its legislative oversight authority, may review them in order to ensure that nearly half a million dollars worth of deliverables, paid for with public funds, are quality products that will serve the community well.”
The committee on Friday voted to pass a committee resolution on Friday to issue a subpoena to the HRRA Executive Director Lasia Casil for the documents.
The HRRA committee is scheduled to hold a public oversight hearing at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
“Over the course of this last year, I have had meetings with HRRA staff and members of the board, my office has made phone calls, sent emails, written letters, and sent Freedom of Information Act requests,” Marsh (Taiano) said. “Yet, numerous of these requested documents have still not been provided. The level of reluctance to provide documents a year after they are paid out causes the Committee to question, why the reluctance, what might they be hiding from the public?”
Casil said Mash is seeking “working draft document,” which “pursuant to 10 GCA 10108 (g) are exempt from public review.”
The draft documents, she added, are pending review and approval by the HRRA board of commissioners.
“ I expect them to review them in four months. Right now, they are focused on reviewing the three master plan documents,” Casil said. “PL24-110 clearly states that the Zoning Code is subject to a public hearing prior to approval. Senator Marsh wants them now. My board isn’t there yet.”
Casil also said the HRRA board and Guam Economic Development Authority board has authorized the executive director of the HRRA to execute any payments under $250,000 without board approval.
“This is clearly stated in the MOU between HRRA and GEDA when they approved the contract to develop Hagåtña Master Plan,” Casil said. “My board is fully aware of all my actions. She’s overstepping her legislative authority and trying to tell me and my board how to do our jobs.”