By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Guam Bureau of Budget Management and Research’s latest expenditure report on the American Rescue Plan Act showed another set of questionable items unrelated to pandemic recovery.
Sen. Telo Taitague asked why the federal funds were spent on items such as television sets, sectional sofas and work boots while some agencies have been struggling to meet their mandates.
She also noted that there were still millions of dollars unspent and unencumbered.
“If these funds haven’t been used this long after the end of the pandemic, why aren’t they being used where there is critical need?” Taitague asked, adding that “the people of Guam deserve to know what justifies such expenditures while our roads and schools are in disrepair.”
Taitague reiterated her call for the administration to free up federal pandemic money and spend it on Guam Memorial Hospital and other areas where funding is needed.
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During the legislature’s deliberations on the FY24 GovGuam budget act, Taitague authored a provision that required more details in the monthly reporting of the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds that GovGuam received because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Because senators had no say in the programming and expenditure of these funds, she said, it is important that the legislature and the public be aware of how this money is being spent.