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DOE now has financial supervisory body

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - Acting Governor Mike Cruz recently signed Bill 238, which creates a Department of Education Financial Supervisory Commission. Chairman of the Legislative Committee on Appropriations, Senator Ben Pangelinan, introduced the legislation, which would create the new DOE organization as an independent body to assist the agency and the Guam Education Policy Board with monitoring and managing financial resources.

For years, DOE has had financial issues. Lawmakers have even questioned how the department is spending millions of dollars.  GEPB Chairperson Ron Ayuyu says this commission will help the department get back on its feet, telling KUAM News, "DOE, the, Department of Education is a huge department. and yes, I will not hide anything that on the financial service area, they do have some difficulties but passing this Bill 238 to have another commission to give advise to the finance services and assist the board according to that bill."

The Commission's role is to monitor the financial health of DOE by developing and supervising a financial status designation of the finances. If needed, the Commission could advise DOE and the Board to implement corrective measures. Ayuyu says, "It's a good bill because the financial services deal with a lot of the issues. They do deal with special education. That's a big financial service that they do deal with. We also have grants and also local funding. And the department deals with so much millions of dollars. I know they want to look at how they spend the money and how they purchase equipment."

The Commission can also review the various federal programs and make recommendations on financial integration and administration sources. The intent of it is to lift the high-risk grantee designation which was bestowed upon DOE by the feds back in 2003.  "I don't have a problem. If everybody wants to pitch in for the Department of Education to be the better finance services to the people of Guam, then why not. Let's work together and do whatever we can to make the department shine," he said.

The Commission includes the directors of Department of Administration, the Bureau of Budget and Management Research, the Office of Finance and Budget, the Public Auditor, along with a parent of a child currently enrolled in a public school. The superintendent will serve as the executive secretary and the deputy of finance will act as a non-voting member.

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