Guam - The Department of Public Works has been removed from high-risk status for highway safety programs. The new designation means Guam will continue to receive National Highway Safety Grant funding. DPW's Guam Office of Highway Safety has been on high-risk grant status for the last 12 years ."Slowly, but surely, we're making government better," Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said. 

"I know Joanne Brown, Carl Dominguez and their team are working very hard to fix the highway safety issues that we've been having over the years. I'm very proud of DPW."

In a letter to Brown dated Oct. 27, 2011, NHTSA Administrator David Manning, Ph.D. explained why Guam was placed on high-risk grant status on December 13, 1999, effectively restricting Guam’s ability to fully participate in national safety programs.
 
“The high risk status determination was based in part on the inability by Guam to adhere to the financial and management control required as a condition for receiving NHTSA 402 funding. In addition Guam’s continual turnovers in the management and staff of its highway safety office prevented Guam from achieving satisfactory performance with its grant programs. Several troubling grant and financial management issues were again noted during the Region’s Management Review of Guam’s highway safety program in 2007,” the letter from Manning states.
 
Manning then noted significant improvements to the office:
  • A new Governor’s Representative for Highway Safety (GR), Joanne Brown, appointed after 2007, was providing strong direction and leadership to the Guam OHS.
  • A newly appointed Highway Safety Coordinator, Cecila Javier, was engaged in intense hands-on operational involvement and oversight of day to day activities of the grant programs.
  • New staff was added and were proper (sic) trained.
  • Grant agreements now contained planned goals and objectives to support program activities.
  • Project delays had been significantly reduced from six months after the start of the grant year to only one month. (emphasis added)
  • Physical inventories of grant funded assets had been initiated and completed as of June 2011.
There was only one finding issued in the 2010 MR of Guam pertaining to program management cost not being charged to the appropriate programs.”
 
“I particularly want to note the progress Joanne and her team are making to ensure that Guam is a full participant in the highway safety programs to continue to receive federal funds to address our Occupant Protection Program, Child Passenger Safety Program, DUI Enforcement, funding for an Attorney General DUI Prosecutor, funding from the Alcohol Program for a Court Interpreter, funding to pay for highway safety enforcement for the Guam Police Department and the Guam Airport Authority and the purchase of law enforcement vehicles, computers and speed enforcement radar and lasers, "Governor Calvo said. Thankfully, Joanne and her team are holding people accountable and things are changing.”
 
“Clearly Guam has made significant improvements in its Highway Safety Office and the delivery of the highway safety program. These improvements, as well as Guam’s willingness to work in a fully cooperative manner with NHTSA Region 9, have been deemed sufficient enough for Region 9 to make the determination to remove Guam from high risk status effective October 31, 2011,” the letter from Manning states.