Over in the NMI, the Secretary of Finance David Atalig responds to the Public Auditor's report which details that the government spent $3.7 million in Fiscal Year 2020 and an astronomical $6.9M in FY2021 for vehicles.

Secretary Atalig responded to KUAM, saying: “The vehicles that were purchased are actively being utilized by the Departments and Agencies within the scope of assignments of their duties and responsibilities. It is important to note that law enforcement departments received funding for vehicles for their departments to help further their abilities to serve the community and effectively respond to public safety concerns."

He added, "There are also agencies that have not had government transportation designated for their offices prior to last year, which hindered their ability to best provide services to our community. This need for transportation was identified by certain agencies, and the agencies acquired vehicles to efficiently complete day-to-day operations and ensure that the duties and responsibilities are not obstructed because of the lack of transportation. It’s also time to replace vehicles that are also more costly to repair than to replace.”

OPA described it as a " lack of accountability and insufficient oversight" during a time of economic downturn following typhoons and COVID-19 pandemic. The report says that 111 vehicles totaling $4.2M were purchased from October 1, 2019 to November 12, 2021.