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More reorgs, force reduction ongoing

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The people of Guam may have received an early Christmas present earlier this month in the form of tax refund checks, but the Administration still plans to move forward with several cost-cutting plans going into the New Year, including reorganization to get GovGuam out of its deep deficit.

Despite distributing close to $200 million in tax refunds, the government is still faced with financial challenges where more plans for reorganization, layoffs and a reduction in force must be implemented. "As far as the previous reorganizations and consolidations and potential reductions in force, that is still an ongoing program, but in addition to that, we still have some other areas of consolidation and mergers that we think will be good for the overall effectiveness of how the Government of Guam runs," explained Frank Arriola, Adelup chief of staff.

As word of the military buildup showed promising signs for Guam, news from our nation's capitol proved otherwise as the island lost out on $155 million in funding for the buildup in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. As the buildup starts to unfold itself more clearly in the next few months, the Administration will be able to augment its current economic development program.

"We are working aggressively to try and remedy that with our own economic agenda, economic prosperity agenda, economic development agenda, and so we're moving forward as we normally would," Arriola continued.

It was in late September when the Calvo Administration announced the merger of the Chamorro Land Trust Commission and Guam Ancestral Lands Commission into the Department of Land Management. The following month, they merged the Hagatna Restoration and Redevelopment Authority, the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities agency, the Guam Public Library System and PBS Guam into the Department of Chamorro Affairs. And just last month, the Administration implemented reorganization plans for the Department of Agriculture. Chamorro Affairs director Joseph Cameron says the merger has been nothing but positive and has two meetings a week with the different division administrators to see the transition goes smoothly.

"The merger has been spectacular to the extent that the like-like agencies are actually working on more aggressive programs that would push forward the agenda that would allow them to expand services to the general public," he stated.

Cameron says the importance of the merger was having the other agencies learn what each program does and how to partner with them to expand its services to the community. DCA is currently in the process of signing off with the five village mayors for the learning resource centers, as discussed in its reorganization plans. Arriola meanwhile says Adelup should be making a formal announcement regarding more reorganization efforts in the next couple of weeks. 

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