Guam - It was over a month ago when Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the Guam International Airport Authority over its legal service billings which during a public hearing earlier this month revealed to be over one million dollars.
Today, Cruz continued his investigation by actually paying the airport a visit collecting documents detailing the breakdown of those legal services. "I just want to determine how did you get 6,000 hours of legal services that went up to $1.3 million dollars - so I just want to see those bills that document and exposit how you go to 6,243 hours and charged $1.3 million," he announced.
Cruz says the information would justify the need for his Bill 180, which aims to put the brakes on excessive legal billing, specifically requiring agencies to hire unclassified in-house counsel in lieu of contract legal services through private attorneys. A response from the airport last week indicated Cruz could obtain the requested documents but would have to pay copying fees which Cruz says he was happy to do.
Today, airport executive manager Chuck Ada says it was a matter of miscommunication as there are no fees for government organizations filing a FOIA request. Ada adds Lotte Duty Free - not the Government of Guam - is paying for the airport's legal fees in regards any matter defending the contract as it was outlined in the negotiation for the concessionaire contract.