Over in the Northern Marianas, a bombshell report by the Office of the Public Auditor revealing that millions were spent by the CNMI Government on vehicles during a time of economic downturn. OPA calling it a " lack of accountability and insufficient oversight."

The report detailes that the government spent $3.7 million in Fiscal Year 2020 and an astronomical $6.9M in FY2021 for vehicles.  Interim Public Auditor Dora Deleon Guerrero wrote to Secretary of Finance David Atalig, painting the picture that despite the economic blow ensued by recent typhoons and the pandemic, the spending is "questionable in terms of fiscal responsibilities." The report added, "regardless of the funding source, an increase in the number of vehicles issued to CNMI agencies poses additional liabilities and obligations associated with fuel consumption and cost of repairs and maintenance."

The report says that 111 vehicles totaling $4.2M were purchased from October 1, 2019 to November 12, 2021.They were only able to check on 51 of those vehicles. And 9 lease contracts for 13 vehicles cost an average of $27k per contract was also found in the same time period.

The OPA found that the government's records of those vehicles were incomplete, lacked some justification for purchasing or leasing, and that procurement lacked rules for rental cars. 

Ultimately, they recommended that the Department of Finance evaluate the number of government vehicles issued to CNMI agencies and if more cars are warranted "based on the scope of assignments of the agencies regardless of availability of non-local funding sources." 

The report went as far to say that Finance's Division of Procurement Services "educate government agencies" on proper procedure. 

KUAM has reached out to the CNMi Office of the Governor and Department of Finance for comment.