GHURA gets best audit result in years

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Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (PNC file photo)

The Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority has achieved perhaps the highest
honor of its 58-year history when independent auditor Deloitte and Touche rendered an unmodified (“clean”) opinion on both the housing authority’s FY2020 (a) Financial statements and (b) Compliance on three major federal programs.

Since 2012, the housing authority had consistently received modified opinions on major federal programs but for the first full audit year under the current Leon Guerrero/Tenorio administration, it has finally received a clean opinion on compliance.

“Words cannot express my gratitude and appreciation to my entire team who worked so diligently to turn GHURA’s image around in just under 2 years. Receiving a clean opinion on both our financial statements and compliance is a huge achievement considering where GHURA was just a few years ago under a previous governing board. Our administration made a concerted effort to stack our fiscal team with even more talent to include 4 Certified Public Accountants, a Certified Government Financial Manager, and a Certified Government Bookkeeper, all of who worked diligently with staff to clean up our books. Our goal for FY21 is to become a low-risk auditee. I couldn’t ask for a better team to help us achieve the core mission of providing homes to thousands of Guamanians and building better communities,” said GHURA Executive Director Ray Topasna.

In response to repeated claims that the delay of GHURA’s FY19 audited financial statements adversely impacted the completion and issuance of GovGuam’s FY19 financial statements, Topasna stated: “GHURA is highly regulated by federal authorities and we met all deadlines set by our federal partners. We do not receive a penny from the general fund. That being the case, I’m not entirely convinced that GHURA’s financial statements played a part in delaying GovGuam’s issuance. If I am incorrect, someone please point the law out to me. The safety of my staff during an unprecedented pandemic will take precedence over GHURA meeting any local deadline which has zero impact to GovGuam’s budget projections. As well, only 3 of 4 quarters of the FY19 audit period fell under my oversight. The housing authority’s FY20 audited financial statements was issued on time. I also want to take this opportunity to dispel
disinformation suggesting that GHURA was at risk of being placed under receivership. This was never the case,” added Topasna.

(GHURA release)

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