Agencies brace for possible furloughs - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Agencies brace for possible furloughs

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KUAM has obtained a copy of the governor's amended  executive order regarding proposed government furloughs. He originally ordered the furloughs to start next Tuesday, but was advised by the Attorney General that such actions would be invalid unless they followed established rules and regulations.

The new order states that the furloughs will proceed pursuant to DOA's rules and regs.

The governor called a cabinet meeting Friday so agency heads could be briefed by the Administration department on the procedures for employee work hour cutbacks.  DOA director Edward Birn says they want to prepare for the potential cash crisis, noting, "So what we're trying to do is get ahead of this and make sure that the government is well-positioned to deal with this shortage and that means dealing with peoples pay."

That sentiment was strongly echoed by deputy Vince Arriola, who said, "We have to give due notice to all parties. we have to streamline all areas within our departments. We have to look at non-essential services that may have to be cut, so there's a whole lengthy process that we have to go through and the whole time period takes about 90 days."

Until then they will need to carefully manage the cash. Arriola says the established priority is legal obligations such as bond payments and payroll, followed by agency allotments and vendor payables.

The DOA officials say the fiscal crisis is real, and so are the possibilities for furloughs, with Birn explaining, "From the cash planning point of view it's not a scare tactic. We've been pretty clear in telling the legislature that there's a tax revenue shortfall. There's no bluffs going on. We realize what's on the table. It's just the manner of fixing this issue. That seems to be the crux of the problem."

Addtionally, the Governor's new executive order also states that any furloughs would apply across-the-board to all department and agencies, including autonomous and semi-autonomous agencies. 

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