- By Pacific island Times News Staff
Taitague seeks transparency in Covid-19 expenditures
Minority Leader Telo Taitague sent a letter today asking Adelup for the latest available information concerning local and federal funds used for Covid-19 response efforts.
With the legislature starting budget deliberation, Taitague urged the governor to provide the requested information which is necessary as senators work towards adopting a responsible spending plan particularly in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
Despite the creation of the Covid-19 Pandemic Recovery Office on May 5, through Executive Order 2020-13, little to no information has been made available to senators on the use of $117,968,257.80 and other funds secured from the government of Guam and the U.S. government specifically for Covid-19 response efforts.
Taitague is seeking a commitment by Adelup and the Covid-19 Pandemic Recovery Office to ensuring that expenditures are reported to the legislature in a timely manner.
“It was the governor’s initiative through Executive Order 2020-13 in May to establish a recovery office to provide timely reports to the legislature. It’s been over three months and counting and we have yet to see an expenditure report. Recognizing that senators also lack details concerning unappropriated (excess) Fiscal Year 2019 revenues, I Liheslaturan Guåhan will begin the Fiscal Year 2021 budget session without critical information from the Covid-19 Pandemic Recovery Office including the latest expenditures using local and federal funds,” Taitague said.
“I urge the governor and her team to work in cooperation with ALL senators throughout the budget session and provide this branch with timely and accurate information in the spirit of transparency," Taitague said said.
"Senators have an obligation to ensure that next year’s budget is realistic and supports the priorities our people expect especially during these uncertain times. With Adelup basically keeping the legislature in the dark when it comes to Covid-19 expenditures, senators must continue to demand information in order to make decisions on how this and other priorities will be funded in the new fiscal year.”