Pangelinan FOIA’s BBMR for Section 30 Fund Docs He Says Should Have Been Given to Legislature

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Guam -The Legislature’s Budget Committee Chair Senator Ben Pangelinan says that he had to submit a  Freedom of  Information [FOIA] request to the Administration’s  Bureau of Budget Management and Research [BBMR] for reports that are supposed to be provided to the Legislature under the law.

In a release, the Senator says that he is seeking all correspondence from BBMR to the Department of Interior adn the U.S. Treasury concerning this fiscal year’s estimates on the Section 30 funds that GovGuam should have received in mid-June. 

READ Senator Pangelinan’s FOIA request to BBMR Director John Rios

Copies of the documents should have already been provided to the Legislature, says Pangelinan.

The Senator says he is concerned over the fact that the documentation on the funding has not been made available at a time when the Legislature and the Governor’s office are debating the 2012 budget.

READ Senator Pangelinan’s release in FULL below:

SENATOR PANGELINAN USES FOIA TO REQUEST MANDATED REPORTS FROM BBMR

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (September 7, 2011– Hagåtña) – In a letter sent to BBMR Director John Rios, Senator Ben Pangelinan cited the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the request for BBMR to submit reports and documents mandated by public law.

The letter states that pursuant to PL 30-219, “all correspondence with the United States Treasury, the Department of Interior, the Office of Insular Affairs… and any other entities of the United States Government related to… fiscal year estimates” of Section 30 funds should have been submitted by the governor of Guam no later than mid-June of this year. According to the letter, these reports have yet to be received by the legislature or the Office of Finance and Budget (OFB).

Senator Pangelinan and his colleagues are concerned that this information has not yet been made available at the height of budget discussions for Fiscal Year 2012. “The intent is clear in the law—we have to be prudent in our estimates of Section 30 advance requests so that we do not see another year of budget shortfalls and a burden to GovGuam operations or bond ratings,” says Pangelinan.

According to law, BBMR is expected to submit the Section 30 Cash Advance Request to the Treasury; the data and information used to develop the request; all correspondence with the federal government regarding Section 30; and information on warrants issued by the IRS to Guam (pursuant to Section 30).