VIDEO: CNMI Governor Fital Seeks To Cut Costs

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Guam – In an effort to cut costs, the Fitial administration wants to do away with paper checks in processing payroll and as soon as possible wants to pay its employees through direct deposit.

Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos said while the government can only encourage employees who are still receiving their salaries through paper checks to open a bank account, he is appealing to them to do so, so that the government can implement a wholesale switch to direct deposit payroll.

Some 80 percent of government employees in the CNMI have been on direct deposit payroll, while the other 20 percent get paper checks.

According to Finance secretary Connie Agulto, the current system of processing payroll—both through direct deposit and paper checks—is labor intensive and costly for the CNMI government.

The Fitial administration’s plan to implement direct deposit payroll is spurred by cost-saving initiatives in the wake of the government overspending more than $16 million in Fiscal Year 2010 as well as an estimated $6 million shortfall in the first quarter of FY 2011.