Guam – Governor Eddie Baza Calvo has announced that he has shaved off nearly $1.2 million in government personnel costs directly under their control.
A release quotes the Governor as saying: “We asked government employees to do without their Hay increase and for taxpayers to have patience with their tax refunds as we fix the cash crisis. We had to set the highest example of fiscal responsibility by cutting positions in our own staff and in our Cabinet. It’s only right. More importantly, we hired very capable people who can take on more responsibility so that we don’t have to hire more employees.”
Cabinet Cuts – $506,846
The Governor decided not to fill one quarter of the line agency Cabinet positions available, even though budget funding exists. He appointed only 29 of the 38 line agency director- and deputy director positions (currently funded). This number includes the currently-vacant Directors of AHRD and Administration positions, which the Governor intends to fill. In total, the Governor’s decisions led to $506,846 in personnel cost savings throughout the Cabinet. That is over 20 percent in savings.
Governor’s Office Cuts – $679,121
The Governor also cut the number of staffers in his office by nearly 20 percent, from 55 staffers in the previous administration to only 45 today. The Lieutenant Governor cut the number of staffers in his office by about 25 percent, from 23 staffers in the previous administration to only 17 staffers today. More notably, the Governor cut the number of senior staffers from 16 in the previous administration to only 11 now. That is a cut of nearly one-third of the number of senior staffers.
The reduction in staffers, along with the consolidation of duties and responsibilities, and significant cuts to the Washington liaison office, the Guam Medical Referral Office, Government House and the Bureau of Information Technology amounts to more than two-thirds of a million dollars in savings at the Governor’s Office in personnel costs alone. This savings of $679,121 represents a 16 percent reduction.
Agency Reports on Cost Containment and Revenue Enhancement
Government of Guam agencies on Monday submitted their draft recommendations for cost containment and revenue enhancement. The Governor’s fiscal team now will review the recommendations, synthesize the reports and make final recommendations to the Governor. It is unknown at this point how long that process will take.
Further cost containment initiatives are expected later.