Updated: Apr 11
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has created a new agency under her office that would set Guam's infrastructure goals and manage federal funds from the Building a Better America program.
The governor issued an executive order establishing the Office of Infrastructure Policy and Development that would "develop integrated policy recommendations for the government of Guam investments in infrastructure."
Tyrone Taitano, who previously served as director of the Bureau of Statistics and Plans, will head the agency as the newly appointed infrastructure coordinator.
Guam stands to receive $1.5 billion in the next several years from the Biden administration's $1.7 trillion infrastructure program
"This federal funding represents a once in a generation opportunity to infuse concentrated resources into infrastructure that will benefit our community and set us on a path forward for a Guam that is prosperous, safe, compassionate and fair," the executive order reads.
"Properly leveraging this opportunity will require a sustained and integrated approach, focused on ensuring that today's investments in infrastructure will have lasting benefits for Guam's future, while guaranteeing robust oversight and accountability," the governor's directive said.
The governor said the creation of the Office of Infrastructure Policy "will ensure maximum benefit to the community from this infusion of infrastructure investment."
The Office of Infrastructure Policy is tasked to:
- Provide support to requesting agencies and policy recommendations to the Office of the Governor regarding the utilization of federal funds for infrastructure;
- Receive federal funds for digital community development initiatives, to improve broadband infrastructure and expand digital access for the underserved and economically disadvantaged segments of our community;
- Monitor and periodically report on the progress of federally funded infrastructure projects, and coordinate with agencies to develop best practices and recommendations that will systemically improve the government of Guam's management of infrastructure funds;
- Make recommendations to agencies to ensure effective and appropriate procurement strategies that provide for the timely execution and implementation of infrastructure projects.
According to the governor's office, the new agency's mission is "to ensure maximum benefit for Guam through the visionary investment of federal resources; deliver the most efficient, effective, and rapid implementation of infrastructure projects; and fast track the expenditure of funds into the local economy to accelerate Guam’s economic recovery and advance job creation initiatives.
The Office of Infrastructure Policy is a temporary office and staffing for the office utilizes available federal funding, the governor's office said.