GEDA close to completing draft of new QC program - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEDA close to completing draft of new QC program

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 by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - What once made sense ten years ago, may no longer be the case especially when it comes to GEDA'S qualifying certificate program. And the agency is close to completing its set of recommendations as part of its plan to revamp the QC.

It was earlier this year, when the Guam Economic Development Authority voted to move forward with a "new look" for the qualifying certificate program. GEDA board vice chairman David John is overseeing the QC Committee, and told KUAM News, "We're trying to integrate, we want to make sure we don't go independently and have the QC come up with independent and then have the response come back from Horwath over at GVB and then the recommendations from them not tie in with what we're doing, so we're just making sure the recommendations that are going to come out of the report that GVB is working on is consistent with what we've been working on it, it looks like it is."

As we reported, this "new look" would add a special QC for specific and urgent investment incentives starting with hotel room development. GEDA is working with the Horwath HTL consulting group based out of Singapore for the study. "The whole idea behind the new process is to clear up what's been put together over the years the QC program has been instrumental to get the tourism industry going down in Tumon now we want to make sure it falls in line with the 20/20 project for GVB is all about," said John.

Revamping the QC program covers over a year since the Office of Public Accountability issued an audit of the QC program noting several deficiencies. John says that will be taken into consideration, noting, "Challenges is to take out the things that aren't helping and just stream line it there's certain things we should be monitoring to make sure the QC is beneficial to the community not just the developer."

He ultimately says certain aspects of the QC program that made sense at one point in time may no longer be the case today. "So each QC will be different based on what it brings to the island and it needs to be revisited - does the island want it? That's something I think should be revisited every certain number of years that's something we have to talk about with the Legislature," he said.

The committee will be meeting this Wednesday to finish a draft proposal that will be presented to the board later this month. 
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