GovGuam moving out of DNA Building
Guam - This time next week we'll get a glimpse of the governor's plans for reorganizing GovGuam and as we wait evidently several moves are currently underway to cut costs - literally. Several agencies that first moved into the DNA Building in Hagatna during the Camacho Administration will be moving out.
"What I would like to see occur is more and more of our government agencies to move back into government buildings," said Governor Eddie Calvo. He says the exodus of agencies is part of his overall plan to stabilize the government's finances and cut costs, adding, "I just believe that would be what is more prudent. So with that in mind we will look toward finding ways to lower rent. Rent expense in certain areas is quite high."
It was in October 2005 when the Public Auditor's Office released a report on how much GovGuam was spending to lease office space. The report noted that in Fiscal Year 2004 GovGuam spent $6.8 million to lease 494,000 square feet of commercial space. Of that, amount the Executive Branch at the time spent $5.7 million. In total there were 76 leases - 69 leases were for office space of which 32 percent was leased in Hagatna.
According to governor's chief of communications Troy Torres the following agencies that have office space in Hagatna (specifically in the DNA Building) that will be moving out are the Guam Fire Department, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities, the Department of Chamorro Affairs and CAHA.
The DNA Building is owned by local attorney David Lujan, who was a supporter of former governors Felix Camacho and of former governor Carl Gutierrez in the 2010 General Election. Governor Calvo says the directive isn't political but practical. "For those who that say things are political in nature let them speculate but right now what we're trying to do is we're trying to ensure that this government does not get itself back into the mess it currently is in and that means making some tough decisions," he said.
Tough decisions that Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio says is based on priority, saying, "In the police department, in the fire department they don't have enough money to buy parts to repair there vehicles. I'd rather make sure that we don't pay real estate that's owned by somebody else and be able to make sure that our vehicles are out on patrol rather than to pay for rent. The reality is that we're prioritizing the money that we have to go to great needs and we're talking about the ability to get ambulances on the road, police cars repaired and police officers on the street preventing crime.
"We put that above politics anyway."