GUAM - Officials continue to discuss how GovGuam intends to spend over $200 million dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Senator Ben Pangelinan, the chairman of the Committee on appropriations, taxation, banking, insurance and land met with 17 Government of Guam agencies.
During the meeting several agencies expressed concerns that procurement law requires the AG to review and approve all proposals, contracts and purchases over $500,000 and that these requests are likely to delay spending ARRA funds and possibly put them at risk to be returned if not spent or obligated within 12 to 18 months.
Says Pangelinan, "The delay of the Record of Decision (ROD) from January to August for the buildup and the delay in using the ARRA funds are primarily responsible for the current revenue shortfalls. the positive news is that the agencies are ramping up to get the ARRA funds circulating in the economy."
Pangelinan says resources of the Attorney General's office need immediate attention.
"The Legislature passed Bill 117, which created a committee headed by the Lieutenant Governor and included the AG to work on ARRA implementation. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed the bill and we are now struggling to spend the money."
According to the senator, the largest stimulus to the economy will be from projects at the Department of Education, the Department of Public Works, the University of Guam, Guam Community College and multiple agencies receiving funds from the Guam Energy Office. The total investment from these agencies is projected to exceed $160 million dollars.