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DOC director says he's making the most with what he's got

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 by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Reacting to a recent audit released by the Guam Office of Public Accountability Department of Corrections director Jose San Agustin says he's making the most of the resources he has. When it comes to an audit of the DOC's cost per prisoner calculations - the numbers just don't add up.

"I concur to some areas of that audit," he said.

According to an audit released last week by the OPA, auditors reviewed DOC's cost per prisoners calculations for Fiscal Years, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The report exposed what auditors call DOC's "weak accounting infrastructure".  Specifically DOC does not track their transactions or maintain a database relative to incarceration - specific costs, such as expenses for meals, medical and dental care, clothing and rehabilitative services.  Bottom-line auditors noted that without compiling or analyzing prisoner expenses to identify major cost drivers, DOC management is not able to monitor expected results, keep operating costs in line, and justify the increase in federal reimbursement rates.

San Agustin, acknowledges the problems, but admits there's little he can do right now. "Unfortunately we are one of those agencies that we've been trying to streamline from the very beginning of this administration the legislature does know that we are short staffed in the administrative side of the house so we continue to work with what we have," he said.

Auditors recommend DOC assign a non -uniform staff member such as a management analyst or a related position, to develop incarceration cost information, maintain its database, and conduct proper data entry, and periodic reconciliation.

San Agustin says although he would like to make immediate corrections he says for now he's got other priorities to address immediately. "If I was going to have a choice between hiring a corrections officer and an admin support staff I would say right now the priority is a corrections officer if you ask me what the priority would be between hiring an admin staff and hiring a medical staff would say the medical staff which is the course that we're on," he said.

San Agustin hopes that within a year DOC can get their numbers in order to present to the Guam OPA to justify their costs per prisoner. 
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