Guam – The GMHA Special Investigative Committee will spend up to $25,000 to hire a third party investigator who will look into allegations of corruption at the public hospital.
In their first ever meeting, the committee discussed housekeeping matters like who will conduct the investigation, what the defined purpose of the investigative committee is and whether the committee will allow for public testimony.
But in discussing the budget for the committee of $25,000, Republican Sen. Fernando Esteves recommended an increase to the budget–to $50,000 in the event the senators blow through the first $25,000, they will not have to go through another contractual process which could take time away from their 120-day timeline to complete the investigation.
“I’d like to make the motion to increase that and my reasons being is because there is a process in the legislature when it comes to procuring service and this is probably gonna be a contract that goes out and so there’s going to be a limit on that. Now, we don’t have to contract for the full amount of the $50,000, but ensuring that this body adopts an amount, that way either one stipulated into a contract up to a certain amount or if we put a limitation to where the committee can revisit but the contractual process does take a while,” said Esteves.
Committee chairman Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, the author of the resolution that created the investigative committee, however, cautioned lawmakers to stick with a $25,000 budget as they will still need to seek approval from the legislative operations committee.
Sen. Esteves deferred to Rodriguez and the budget will remain at $25,000.