• By Pacific island Times News Staff

OPA: Housing executives received two pay hikes within a year


The two top officials of the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority have received two salary adjustments within a year since they assumed their posts in January 2019, according to the Office of Public Accountability.

According to OPA's audit released today, Executive Director Ray Topasna and Deputy Director Elizabeth Napoli received pay adjustments in December 2019 that increased their salaries to $153,479 and $106,985, respectively. These pay adjustments, which were ratified through a board resolution, were retroactive to July 2019.

Both officials had previously received salary increases in the same year. In February 2019, Napoli received a pay adjustment to correct her salary to $100,930, while Topasna's salary went up to $144,792 in October 2019 due to the restoration of FY 2019 salary increments to eligible employees, according to OPA.

The newly released reported contained an audit of GHURA's unclassified employees’ pay raises and bonuses.

OPA said it has determined that the GHURA Board of Commissioners generally complied with the Open Government Law when they discussed and decided on unclassified employees’ salaries and bonuses between fiscal years 2015 through 2019.

The audit did not find any bonuses given to unclassified employees in our review of executive and general session minutes as well as personnel action forms.

However, OPA found that the Board of Commissioners did not retain minutes of its February 2015 executive session.

"We recommended the GHURA Board of Commissioners consistently adhere to the requirement of the Open Government Law to ensure the minutes of every meeting are fairly recorded and open to public inspection," OPA said/

OPA also found two instances where the board voted on matters related to ongoing litigation in its September 2018 and January 2019 executive sessions.

While the board conducted performance reviews for the former executive director and current executive director, OPA found that the board "did not consistently ratify the former executive director and former deputy director’s pay adjustments as a result of formal performance evaluations. "As such, we recommended the GHURA Board of Commissioners consistently ratify all pay adjustments for GHURA unclassified employees on a going forward basis,"

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