Guam – Despite the federal government’s current financial situation, United States Department of Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Anthony Babauta on Tuesday pledged continued support for Guam.
Babauta made the assurance during a meeting on Tuesday with Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio and Guam State Clearinghouse Administrator Eric Palacios in Washington, D.C.
Tenorio is attending the National Lieutenant Governors’ Association Winter Meeting, while Palacios traveled there to meet with the heads and senior officials of numerous federal agencies that provide grant funding to Guam.
“I appreciate Assistant Secretary Babauta’s continued commitment to assist our island. His assurance, especially coming at a time when the federal government is dealing with a budgetary impasse, is welcome news,” Tenorio said.
Federal government agencies have for several weeks, and continue to, operate under two- to three-week continuing resolutions. Because of this, new grant applications previously submitted for Guam cannot be funded until such time that a balanced federal budget is passed.
But Guam could potentially gain about $1 million in Technical Assistance Grant funds that were returned by various insular jurisdictions, Babauta said. The funding is available through his agency’s Insular Management Control program, “which is intended to assist insular area governments implement financial management improvements.”
Affected agencies that create and submit a comprehensive and realistic corrective-action-plan application to address deficiencies will be awarded funding.
“Agencies that apply for and are awarded money through this particular grant program will be able to correct the noted deficiencies and, more importantly, be able to serve our community in a more efficient and effective manner,” Tenorio added.
“I want to thank Assistant Secretary Babauta and his staff for informing us of this great funding opportunity. In these austere times, any money awarded — and that ultimately builds our island’s public-service capacity — is great for our community,” Tenorio said.