Questions Raised About The High Cost of DMHSA “Plan of Action”


Guam – The Federal Management team at the Department of Mental Health is seeking $11 million dollars in the next fiscal year to launch their ambitious plan of action for the ailing department. However the Legislature’s Health Committee Chairman is concerned that the plan calls for more money than GovGuam can afford.



A memorandum from Assistant Attorney General David Highsmith to Speaker Judi Won Pat earlier this week states that the Federal Management Team is seeking $19.7 million dollars in Fiscal 2010 to fund the various projects in their Plan of Action.

However the Fiscal Year and the amount are both incorrect.

Federal Manager Dr. James Kiffer says the funding they have requested would begin in Fiscal year 2011, not 2010.

In addition he says it would be spaced out over 3 years. $11 million has been requested in FY 2011, $3 million in FY 2012, and $1 million in FY 2013, for a total of $15 million over 3 years.

There is an additional $9 to $10 million dollars estimated to build the new Treatment Center in Upper Tumon, but Kiffer says they have not submitted the request for funding for that yet.

Although Judge Consuelo Marshal has approved the Plan of Action, she has yet to issue the payment scheduled requiring monthly installments from GovGuam.

Kiffer said he had expected the payment order to be issued earlier this week.

Meanwhile, there are rumbling from GovGuam about the high cost of the plan.

The Chairman of the Legislature’s Health Committee, Senator Frank Aguon, questions whether a new treatment center with a $10 million dollars price tag is necessary. Aguon says he is writing a letter to the Judge urging her to keep in mind GovGuam’s fiscal situation and suggesting modifications of the Plan of Action.