Pangelinan Believes GovGuam Deficit Is Minimal; Asks OPA to Update Deficit Audit

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Guam – Appropriations Committee Chair Senator Ben Pangelinan is challenging the Calvo Administration’s assessment of the island’s budget deficit.

In a release the Senator writes that he believes that GovGuam’s deficit “has been reduced to minimal levels” because the recent bond issues which have reduced the amount owed in tax refunds and COLA.

AS a result, he has written a letter to Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks asking for the Office of Public Accountability [OPA] to update its its last report on the Government of Guam Liabilities.

READ Senator Pangelinan’s letter to Public Auditor Brooks HERE  

Pangelinan is quoted in the release as saying that ” “The government of Guam has collected unprecedented amounts of cash from the taxpayers and businesses of Guam. Coupled with the over $340 million in bond proceeds and the diversion of the cash collections for the past due refunds, now paid by the bonds, to pay prior year obligations that has reduced the government’s deficit, there is absolutely no reason why the Administration’s continual finger pointing to the deficit has any merit, whatsoever.”

The Appropriations Committee Chair says he wants the Public Auditor to “quickly act and update its Government of Guam Liabilities Assessment to truly provide the people of Guam an accurate picture of the current deficit as of May 31, 2012,”

READ Senator Pangelinan’s release in FULL below:

PANGELINAN SAYS GOVGUAM DEFICIT IS MINIMAL, REQUESTS PUBLIC AUDITOR TO UPDATE DEFICIT AUDIT

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (June 17, 2012 – Hagåtña) – Senator Vicente (ben) Cabrera Pangelinan has written a letter to the Office of Public Accountability (OPA) and Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks requesting that she update a previously released OPA Report No. 11-03, the Government of Guam Liabilities Assessment.

Senator Pangelinan (D-Barrigada) believes that the authorizations provided to the Administration by the Guam Legislature to issue bonds to pay past-due Income Tax Refunds, Cost of Living Allowances, the liability to the Government of Guam Retirement Fund, etc., has reduced the deficit to minimal levels and that the continual finger pointing to the deficit by the Administration as causing a current cash issue has no merit.

“The government of Guam has collected unprecedented amounts of cash from the taxpayers and businesses of Guam. Coupled with the over $340 million in bond proceeds and the diversion of the cash collections for the past due refunds, now paid by the bonds, to pay prior year obligations that has reduced the government’s deficit, there is absolutely no reason why the Administration’s continual finger pointing to the deficit has any merit, whatsoever,” stated Pangelinan.

The government of Guam deficit, after the two bond issuances, has decreased the to very minimal and manageable levels. Pangelinan believes that any attempt by any sector of the government to mislead the public into believing that the deficit is causing cash issues should be verified by the Public Auditor.

“I am requesting that the Public Auditor quickly act and update its Government of Guam Liabilities Assessment to truly provide the people of Guam an accurate picture of the current deficit as of May 31, 2012,” stated Pangelinan.