OPA finds lapses in management of cancer trust funds

The Guam Cancer Trust Fund was intended to provide direct service and assistance to patients with cancer.

The Office of Public Accountability (OPA) has released a performance audit on the Guam Cancer Trust Fund (GCTF), showing that from FY 2014 to FY 2018 there were inefficiencies, violations, and non-compliance with GCTF governing laws, program objectives and lack of documentation.

Specifically, OPA found:

· Lapses and inefficiencies in the management of GCTF revenues;

· Apparent violations or flaws on GCTF payouts; and

· Deficiencies in grant processes and compliance of terms of grants.

These resulted in ineffective management of revenues, questionable GCTF awards and payouts, and undetermined program results.

OPA recommended that the University of Guam:

• Strictly comply with the legislative requirement to maintain a separate deposit account for GCTF.

• Establish and communicate among each other, at the end of the fiscal year, funds available for award grantees, for administrative expenses and for investment.

• Strictly enforce grant payouts on a reimbursement basis with sufficient documentation.

• Conduct and document grant application evaluation process based on established criteria, and maintain records of the results of evaluations, recommendations, and President’s approvals.

• Strictly monitor compliance of grantees reportorial requirements, progress reports, and results of the grant and conduct site visits.

• Conduct review and make necessary updates on GCTF Rules and Regulations especially on direct personnel costs, startup cost, outreach programs, administration costs, and fiscal manager fees.

• Resolve issues on apparent conflict of interest.

• Conduct an independent review/audit of grantees’ invoices, receipts, and other reimbursement documents prior to processing of checks for grant payouts.

In addition, OPA recommended the Department of Administration to:

• Refrain from borrowing funds from the Healthy Futures and remit to UOG the full appropriated amount for GCTF; and

• Issue a separate check allotment for GCTF.

“The Guam Cancer Trust Fund was intended to provide direct service and assistance to patients with cancer. It was not intended to provide employment to healthy able-bodied individuals. We must all work to assure that we realize the primary intent of this Trust Fund,” Public Auditor Benjamin J.F. Cruz said in a news release.