GWA achieves low-risk auditee status for 5th consecutive year

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Guam Waterworks Authority’s FY2020 Financial Statement Audit was completed on March 19, 2021, ahead of its March 26th target.

GWA received unmodified opinions on its financial statements and federal program compliance with no identified material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, audit findings, or questioned costs.

This was the fifth consecutive year that GWA has qualified as a low-risk auditee.

Operating revenues for the year were $103.3M, decreasing by 6.6% compared to FY2019. \

Similarly, FY2020 operating income was at $16.9 million, a decrease of $10.9 million from FY2019. Pandemic-related expenses impacted GWA, increasing operating costs by $3.7 million to $86.4 million compared to FY2019. While residential consumption increased during FY2020, it was not enough to compensate for decreases in commercial and hotel consumption.

Although COVID-19 negatively impacted GWA finances, the Authority was able to respond to the challenges and immediately implemented cost containment measures. GWA also worked to automate many of its processes, encouraging its ratepayers to take advantage of contactless forms of payment and service requests.

In response to the initial shut down, a drive-through at the Upper Tumon offices was quickly commissioned to allow safe payment of utility bills, while disconnections were suspended through a large part of FY2020.

GWA was able to maintain or improve its credit ratings and obtain $143.9M in bond proceeds that will be used to improve water and wastewater infrastructure. GWA was also able to refund a portion of its Series 2013 Bonds, which will result in $13M of savings.

Construction on major projects, such as the expansion of the Northern District Wastewater Treatment Plant, continued with minimal disruptions. Property, plant, and equipment, net of depreciation, increased by $81.1 million during the fiscal year due to completed and on-going construction projects related to wastewater treatment plant replacement, new sewer transmission lines and pump stations, reservoir replacements, booster pump upgrades, sewer line rehabilitation or replacements, deep well rehabilitations, acquisitions of mechanical and electrical equipment, and general plant improvements.

“GWA continues to make steady improvements in its infrastructure and operations, exhibiting its commitment to be good stewards of ratepayers, bondholder, and federal grant funds. Despite reduced revenues resulting from this pandemic, GWA was able to prioritize the safety of our customers and employees, and meet all of our financial covenants and obligations,’ said General Manager Miguel C. Bordallo.

CCU Chair Joey Duenas states, ‘We congratulate GWA management and staff for their financial performance during this trying year.’

(GWA News Release)

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