Yesterday, the Office of the Governor (OOG) passed an executive order (EO) that will establish an Office of Infrastructure Policy (OIP).
Former Bureau of Statistics and Plans (BSP) Director Tyrone Taitano has been appointed to serve as director of the newly established Office of Infrastructure Policy.
President Biden’s Building A Better America Program has made funding available to the Government of Guam for needed infrastructure to upgrade public services, support the island’s economic recovery, and generally improve the quality of life for the people of Guam.
The Biden Administration has urged states and territories to each appoint a dedicated infrastructure implementation coordinator.
Accordingly, the OIP is designated to obtain, receive, and administer grants and government funds in order to move infrastructure projects along.
In an interview with Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo, Taitano briefly explained the objectives he must work toward for this office; one of which is not leaving any money ‘on the table’, explaining, “We’re going to go out on every grant opportunity that’s available from the federal government, particularly from the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act, because this is a once in a generation opportunity.”
To Taitano, the office aims to improve broadband infrastructure to expand digital access for Guam’s underserved and economically disadvantaged community
“Our goal is to use this once-in-a-generation funding for not only broadband and digital equity to transform and deal with that issue here,” stated Taitano.
The dependency on technology became more prominent as countries all over the world saw an increase in teleworking and online learning because of th COVID-19 pandemic.
Taitano points out, “My job here is to try to work with other agencies on a collaborative, team basis to try to deal with these issues and move the process along as expeditiously as possible.
According to the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act Fact Sheet for Guam released by the White House in August 2021, infrastructure in Guam has suffered from a systemic lack of development for decades.
The OIP will ensure the delivery of effective and efficient implementation of infrastructure projects to produce results for the people of Guam and accelerate Guam’s economic recovery.