OPA finds limitations with ethics in government program training law

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The Guam Office of Public Accountability (OPA) has released a compliance audit on elected and appointed officials attending an ethics in government program training required by Public Law 28-76.

The audit also found limitations with the ethics in government program training law.

Specifically, there was (1) no one entity monitoring compliance with elected and appointed officials attending the required training, (2) restriction on who should attend the course, and (3) no penalty for non-compliance.

The audit found the following elected and appointed officials attended the required training and are in compliance with P.L. 28-76:

· All elected executive and legislative branch officials, including the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Public Auditor, 15 members of the 36th Guam Legislature, and the six elected Guam Education Board officials;

· 19 elected mayors and six vice mayors;

· Four Consolidated Commission on Utilities Commissioners; and

· 286 appointed positions serving in various capacities as agency heads, board or commission members. OPA noted that certain appointed positions served on multiple boards or commissions and were duplicated in the count.

“As elected and appointed officials, we wield considerable power over a number of important community matters. With this power comes the expectation that we will hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. We are entrusted with a great responsibility to run the affairs of our government with honesty and integrity and must ensure that decisions be made for the greater good of the community rather than self-interest,” stated Public Auditor Benjamin J.F. Cruz.

“In March 2021, our office requested evidence from every elected and appointed official of their attendance at this required training. We noticed a flurry of courses being scheduled to bring their officials into compliance. We produced this report to highlight the importance of the required training and to raise our elected and appointed officials’ awareness of the greater scope of responsibilities their positions hold. Additionally, this is also to encourage greater accountability and the judicious use of authority for the greater good of the community,” concluded Cruz.

A full list of elected and appointed officials compliant with P.L. 28-76 can be found in Appendices 4 and 6 of the full report. You can view the full report at https://www.opaguam.org/sites/default/files/opa2105_full_report.pdf.

(OPA Release)

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