Guam – Governor Felix Camacho is calling for the Guam Department of Education to be placed back under the supervision of the executive branch.
Camacho says the GDOE is the largest agency in GovGuam, the largest employer, has the biggest budget and I think its the worse managed. There’s no one other than BBMR under the executive branch thats a gate keeper to the Department of Education. He says there’s no accountability and there’s no one to watch over them. Camacho feels that this stand alone, fourth branch of government is doing its own thing and they play politics very well.
According Camacho every time an issue comes up and when it comes to monies GDOE will bring up the children, the class rooms and the teachers. And threaten to shut down the agency. Then the Media will come in, back them up, give them a pass and everybody through compassion will find monies for those guys.
Camacho feels thats not the way it should be handled and it can only be sustained for so long because everyone suffers from the shortcoming of DOE. He says in order for the agency to be properly managed it needs to be brought back under the executive branch. Camacho also believes DOE should be broken up.
“Its to large of an organization, you have operations, you have policy, you have classrooms and teaching and you have to find away to make this manageable. “
GovGuam has always had problems with the GDOE with maintaining the right paper work and the right accountability for all of its federal funding. In a letter from the US DOE that dates back to November of 2009, The federal agency was not happy with the GDOE because they were not complying with federal guidelines pertaining to federal funds.
Attorney Frank Gumataotao, the legal counsel for the School board says, GDOE lacked of continuous employment of people in accounting. The agency didn’t have enough people and they weren’t trained. But he thinks the agency is getting a handle on their finances.
Gumataotao says, Since Taling Tiatano has been on board, I’ve seen a tremendous change in the way accounting has been done. They are doing an effective job. She’s has accurate figures, she can tell you how she got those figures and they are consistent. If there’s a change, she’s could show you how she got it those new numbers. She has her arms around it and its the biggest agency in GovGuam. And she doesn’t have the size of staff BBMR has.
U.S.DOE required the GDOE to have a third party fiduciary agent in place to track and handle all federal money.
Camacho is now relieved that the third party was selected so federal funds can finally be released to DOE.
Camacho says, “But the government of guam, our the line agencies and the general fund has had to provide bridge financing so all the federal funds that would normally come into DOE at this period of time, we had to bear the burden. All the GovGuam line agencies and all the vendors that are owed money throughout our community had to bear the burden and pay the price of DOE. “
Camacho says the federal money will eventually be rolling in and that will bring some relief to GovGuam.