Port board appears for oversight hearing - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Port board appears for oversight hearing

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Members of the Port board and management appeared before lawmakers this afternoon for an oversight hearing. Committee chair Senator Tom Ada wanted progress updates on an array of issues such as the financing and procurement for work being done on berths F4, F5, and F6. Port officials told the panel of lawmakers that they are hoping to execute the contract in December. Also discussed was the port's compliance with federal regulations covering employee safety and welfare. During the oversight hearing it was noted that several employees appeared to have not been getting required physical exams. During the hearing Port officials told senators the responsibility of overseeing the requirement lies with the Human Resources Division and not the Safety Office.

"70% of equipment operators have not gotten physical exams, 100% of the crane operators have not gotten a physical exam about none of the cargo checkers the stevedores none of them have gotten the physical exams although I will admit the federal regs only says these physical exams are required of operators of commercial vehicles, your cranes and forklifts and all that stuff 4338 it doesn't talk about stevedores and cargo checkers," said the senator.

Port general manager Joanne Brown responded that management recognizes the issues the senator is raising, but also noted that some of the records the port submitted might not be complete because some of their records were erased. "It's a little disheartening to find out all the records are not in order for whatever reason whatever reason however reason the key employees that used to work there that would have been the oversight to be responsible are no longer working with the port. What we have looked at is how to do reconstruct from here. How can we find what records rare available because in one case we had one computer that was erased of all data. So it made it very difficult to go back and confirm what exams have or have not happened."

brown said moving forward they will implement a new policy for better record keeping so that its not just limited to the HR department. Meanwhile in response to questions as to whether any federal grants have had to be returned, the port responded no.

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