Feds, DOE's chosen agent to visit Guam - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Feds, DOE's chosen agent to visit Guam

by Michele Catahay

Guam - The Department of Education is hoping to finalize a contract for a third-party fiduciary agent sometime soon. In fact, the chosen firm along with the U.S. Department of Education will be on island later this month.  

The agent under DOE will soon administer millions of dollars in federal funding - if a contract is signed soon. According to DOE Finance Deputy Superintendent Taling Taitano, a contract is now with the Attorney General's Office for its review. She says she's hoping the document will soon be sent to Adelup for Governor Felix Camacho's signature.

Taitano says the third-party agent will be on island on September 20, along with representatives from the local agency's federal counterpart.  "USDOE is going to be in our office to explain what the relationship will be between us and the third-party and what they expect from the third-party in order for us to drawdown funds," she explained.

The group will be looking at management systems and how officials plan on making changes to current systems and procedures.  Said Taitano, "We've already had preliminary discussions; they're going to want to look at connectivity. The system they will be bringing is based on cloud computing. They're actually keeping the data on a system on the mainland and they want to make sure we have the system infrastructure to support that."

DOE hasn't been able to access federal dollars from the consolidated grant until the third-party agent is officially in place. Taitano says DOE will be giving the firm a half-dozen of its staff members to access policies and procedures.  "They're going to be taking a closer look at how we run our payroll. The idea is that we're going to continue running payroll, but they need to be assured that what we're doing could be traced back to the grant documents," she said.

The team from USDOE will include risk management director Phil Maestri, who will be on island for about a week. Taitano says they're hoping to have a third party in place in the next couple of months, telling KUAM News, "We're hoping that within 60 days or less, that they'll be up and running and they'll be able to drawdown our monies."

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