“From my heart of hearts there is no malice in the way DPW does business.” – DPW Director Glenn Leon Guerrero.
Guam – Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks has found “potential fraud and misuse” with DPW’s heavy equipment management. However, the DPW Director Glenn Leon Guerrero is taking issue with these allegations saying they were nothing more than honest mistakes.
“Pretty harsh. I think there are some good that we can pull out of it but I think they kind of went a little too far,” said Leon Guerrero.
The OPA report cites potential fraud and misuse that includes things like unconfirmed allegations that DPW heavy equipment and parts were used for personal purposes. Although the OPA could not prove this their findings do show “significant internal control lapses.” For example, DPW management did not conduct physical inventories, reconcile purchase reports, and ensure proper authorization for repair orders and parts. DOA’s inventory report did not include $3.1 million in equipment and DPW’s inventory report did not include $1.1 million in equipment.
“The thing that we are guilty of and the auditor is right and all audits are like that and they are consistent is that if you don’t document it then it didn’t happen,” said Leon Guerrero as he admitted that some of their practices were improper. There are numerous things that the OPA found to be improper like $459 thousand in unreconciled heavy equipment purchases.
In addition, the OPA found that the DPW director accepted free heavy equipment rental services from a DPW employee’s company because DPW periodically did not have adequate heavy equipment. The OPA says the director took specific action to clear allegations against the DPW employee by requesting that the Governor accept the contribution pursuant to a section of Guam law he cited. The OPA has referred this matter to the Attorney General.
“But in this case, this guy who has a private business does not bid against, bid for government contracts he actually works for the government,” said Leon Guerrero adding, “He doesn’t ask anything in return?” asked PNC. “Absolutely not,” replied Leon Guerrero.
The OPA also found $160 thousand in unnecessary heavy equipment rentals to compensate for a missing lowboy and $28 thousand in rentals for heavy equipment that was already available to DPW. Leon Guerrero says that they rented equipment because the equipment they do own was being used on other projects.
The OPA conducted physical inspections of DPW’s heavy equipment inventory in which they found that equipment could not be located and some were improperly cannibalized for parts. Leon Guerrero admits that parts have been cannibalized in the past but this is to fix equipment and get equipment put back to work.
8 units including some federally funded equipment were even found parked in private residences. “True. And the reason for that is Clynt, we have projects throughout the island,” said Leon Guerrero. Leon Guerrero says the equipment was merely being staged at private residences that were near construction sites in order to be more efficient. “Now we’re working in Umatac and we’re doing a major project in Umatac we’re now going to take the assets we used to keep it down and around the Umatac area but now we’re gonna take it to the bus satellite stations the closest one would be Yona or Agat,” explained Leon Guerrero.
The OPA also found that 25 units had expired registrations. They also found unusual repair orders for idle nonworking heavy equipment. For example, there were two purchase orders for two transmissions and two oil coolers for the same dump truck that has been idle since 2014. Leon Guerrero says this was just a mistake with the way the requisitions were done but he is adamant that there was nothing sinister happening.
“From my heart of hearts there is no malice in the way DPW does business. We are happy to say if there are some areas we need to improve. I know I don’t walk on water and that’s why in the past it’s been my philosophy to embrace audits and management reviews,” said Leon Guerrero.
Leon Guerrero says that he will be making changes to the way DPW does business in light of this audit but he emphasizes that any of the mistakes found in the audit were not done with any malice.