OPA supports closure of inactive special funds

Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz testifies in the Legislature on Bill 152-36 (PNC photo)

Bill 152-36 by Senators Telo Taitague, Sabina Perez, and Joanne Brown, which would close inactive Government of Guam Special Revenue Funds (SRFs) pursuant to recommendations of the Office of Public Accountability (OPA), received support from Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz during a public hearing held Thursday, July 29.

The OPA issued Report No. 19-02 highlighting 86 SRFs including 30 accounts which the office recommended closing in prior audit reports.

Senator Taitague offered a similar proposal (Bill 61) during the 35th Guam Legislature which did not move forward through the legislative process. Related measures including Bills 301 and 305 were put forward during the 28th Guam Legislature attempting to close inactive SRFs.

“I thank the authors of this legislation for taking action on this issue of dormant and inactive special funds. Our office first studied this issue back in 2004 (OPA Report No. 04-04) and 2006 (OPA Report No. 06-03) when we reviewed numerous special revenue funds and found that more than half of them had little to no activity,” commented Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz. “While this legislation seeks to repeal these special revenue funds, their elimination does not necessarily mean forgoing the purposes for which the funds were created. They can be alternately achieved through a direct appropriation by the Legislature to agencies administering such funds, with the accounting still being done by DOA. The only difference is the accounting will be done in an account, rather than as a special revenue fund. We encourage all senators to support this bill and make our government more efficient.”

“As a co-sponsor of a similar measure (Bill 301) which was introduced during the 28th Guam Legislature, Public Auditor Cruz understands how critical Bill 152 is to building a more efficient government. From issues such as inactive special funds to uncollected Use Tax revenue, the Guam Legislature must make every effort to review the findings of and act on policy recommendations offered through audits and other reports issued by the OPA,” Senator Taitague stated.

(Senator Telo Taitague Release)