Bulk of $6.2M in lapsed funds goes to retirement fund

GovGuam Retirement Fund (PNC file photp)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has transferred roughly $6.2 million in lapsed funds from the 2019 fiscal year to other GovGuam agencies that can use the leftover funding from last year.

$5.2 million, the bulk of the amount, went to the GovGuam Retirement Fund to pay past-due premiums for GovGuam retiree health, dental, and life insurance policies.

The Guam Fire Department got $432,000 and the Guam Cancer Trust Fund received $500,000.

About half-million of the unspent money came from the Guam Police Department and the Department of Corrections, both of which are understaffed and still badly in need of money to hire more officers.

During a news conference at her office yesterday, the governor explained that the unspent money at DOC and GPD was the result of changes in staffing levels at both agencies.

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“If you fund a position and don’t fill that position (or) you have benefits that you budgeted for and those benefits didn’t happen, those are some of the areas where lapses can happen,” said the governor.

“You have a person that has been working for 30 years retires and you fill that position with someone with lesser experience. Those are all lapses,” she said.

The governor said that additional funds have already been provided in this year’s budget for both DOC and GPD to hire new staff.