Legislation introduced to promote greater accountability with executive security

Senator James Moylan (PNC file photo)

On Monday morning, Senator James Moylan filed legislation that would promote greater accountability with the management of expenditures associated with Executive Security.

The measure was considered after Senator Moylan received a response consisting of the total expenses associated with Executive Security for Fiscal Years 2018-Present through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Administration.

The results, he said, were concerning.

While the total expenses associated with Executive Security reduced slightly in FY’19 by nearly $170,500 when compared to FY’18, they drastically escalated over the next two fiscal years.

In FY ’20 over $2.1 million was expended, and as of September 15, 2021, over $2 million has been spent on Executive Security, which represents overall increases of 86% and 73%, respectively when compared to FY’ 19. This included Executive Security’s overtime expenditures which far surpassed the previous administration’s numbers for FY ’18 (more than double in FY’20), which were heavily criticized by a previous legislature.

The measure introduced would authorize the Chief of Police to submit a budget plan for Executive Security each year, as part of the Guam Police Department’s (GPD) overall budget submittal to the Governor.

By establishing that budget as a line item, the objective would be for the Executive Branch to work with those numbers, versus the current practice of utilizing the GPD budget as an unlimited credit card to fund Executive Security. This would further provide the department with additional funds from that savings to apply towards their objectives of public safety.

“Every dollar which is spent on Executive Security is a dollar being taken away from the Guam Police Department’s budget to focus on their overall mission. While we are not taking away the necessity of needing to protect the Governor, we need to establish a plan which promotes accountability when it comes to these expenses, versus the blank check process we are experiencing today. That’s the primary objective of this legislation”, stated Senator Moylan.

“In a recent response, we were advised by the front office that they were prudent with these expenses, but the results of the FOIA state otherwise. When you compare the FY19 expense report, which is still relatively high, the Executive Branch spent an additional million dollars and over $850,000 respectively, in the last two fiscal years on Executive Security. These were the periods of the lockdowns and virtual meetings. These are funds being taken away from GPD and protecting the rest of the community. That isn’t right”, added Senator Moylan.

During budget discussions for FY ’20 and FY’21, and recently for FY ’21, Senator Moylan made amendments to apply restrictions associated with Executive Security, but unfortunately, the amendments failed. “I believe this balanced legislation along with the results of the FOIA, should result in a different outcome on the issue,” stated Senator Moylan.