GovGuam reorg gets mixed reaction - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GovGuam reorg gets mixed reaction

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The Calvo Administration's announcement of plans to reorganize the Government of Guam has created mixed reactions in the community. But the island's chief executive believes an overhaul of the public sector is long overdue

A Government of Guam employee for over 20 years, Anthony Quitugua feels secure about his job. However, he knows his subordinates and others in the government may not feel the same way following Governor Eddie Calvo's announcement of a government-wide reorganization. "As an employee, as long as austerity measures are implemented especially in the procurement process then I think GovGuam will be back on its feet," he said.

The announcement was made Thursday  following the passage of Bill 257, which according a press release from the Governor's Office forces $11 million in cuts to every agency except the Department of Education. Although it was in June Governor Calvo directed his cabinet to identify 10% in cuts in their operations; today, directors were supposed to submit detailed plans for reorganization within the respective agencies.

Committee on Appropriations Chairperson Senator Ben Pangelinan says the reorganization plan shouldn't be considered something new but feels the governor should have been more open and detailed before making such a huge announcement. "I think number one announcing something like this without knowing what to do is not positive, you're scaring the people, you're scaring our investors, you're not building any confidence with our move towards financial stability or financial restructuring that will be positive to the community because nobody has any details," he explained.

Governor Calvo tells KUAM News that he needed to make these tough decisions in regards to reorganization and streamlining the agencies to eliminate redundancies and repetitions within the government. He adds that although the government needs to recover, focus still needs to be put on education, health and safety. "You know," Calvo stated, "Rome wasn't built in a day; well, this $365 million deficit just didn't grow this year, its been ongoing for many years, but in order for us to get out of this financial morass we had to make tough decisions and we are prepared to make those tough decisions."

Governor Calvo is set to meet with directors Saturday to discuss creative ideas in reducing spending and look at agencies that provide similar or complimentary services and combine them. "One of the things that are so important as we have to make these very difficult cuts, its important that for all those workers that are displaced that we give the proper resources and we are working on programs so that it would allow for a transition in training," he said.

Although people within the government may fear for their jobs, Quitugua says he believes the governor's plan is ultimately meant to help the government. He adds that unless the military buildup comes around sooner than expected, the only thing people can rely on is the bond the governor is trying to get. "I feel for my subordinates, I know they're struggling, everybody is but I also consider the private sector who are losing their jobs and they're the same, we're all the same in the world," he said.

The governor adds that many of the GovGuam agencies have already presented their reorganization proposals, final reorganization plans however are due to the governor for his approval by close of business next Wednesday.

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