OPA: GovGuam generally followed federal guidance in COVID relief fund expenditures


The Office of Public Accountability (OPA) has issued OPA Report No. 20-08, Government of Guam (GovGuam) Coronavirus Relief Fund Expenditures-Part I.

OPA found that GovGuam generally followed the policies and procedures provided by the Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance for State, Territorial, Local and Tribal Governments. The guidance relates to the eligibility, necessity, and reasonableness of approved budgeted expenditures in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, the Spending Plan allocation of funds to agencies was generally based on the criteria of eligible expenditures outlined in the guidance. However, our initial review of the Spending Plan and the supporting documents found that:

a) GovGuam lacked specific processes and control activities for the CRF;

b) certain approved budget amounts lacked pertinent information and exceeded agencies’ request ($12.2 million (M)); and

c) some approved budget requests are questionable based on their description and/or cost in the Spending Plan ($25M).

In their management response, BBMR provided over 923 pages of spreadsheets and documents, which reflected an update on the details and subsequent modifications of allocations on the approved budged expenditures. DOA outlined their involvement with the receipt of the Coronavirus Relief Funds and the Administration’s agreement to provide reports of expenditures on a monthly basis.

OPA made two recommendations to (1) DOA management to design and implement control activities by adopting written policies and procedures specific for coronavirus relief funds and other financial assistance, and (2) DOA and BBMR management to satisfactorily comply with the monthly reporting requirements for all COVID-19 expenditures.

“This audit focused on the Coronavirus Relief Fund processes and CARES Act Budget spending plan. With a deadline to spend the $118M in coronavirus relief funds by the end of this year, the OPA will include in our 2021 Audit Plan the actual expenditures made by this Administration, ” remarked Public Auditor Benjamin J.F. Cruz.

(OPA News Release)