Guam – Department of Public Health and Social Services Director J Peter Roberto says he will not be among the DPHSS employees who are going to get a bonus.
These bonuses were requested because Gov Guam received a cash reward from the Department of Agriculture this week for reducing errors in the payment of food stamp benefits.
Out of a reward of over $173 thousand dollars, public health has requested to use over $160 thousand dollars for cash bonuses. The request was for 51 employees of DPHSS including it’s director JPeter Roberto. On Thursday, Vice-Speaker BJ Cruz wrote a letter to the AG’s office asking for an opinion on the legality of the bonuses. Particularly Cruz was concerned that the bonuses did not exceed the 3.5% percent cap that the law stipulates. He was also concerned about Roberto’s eligibility as an un-classified employee. The law stipulates that these bonuses only be given to classified employees. During an interview this morning with Ray Gibson on the breakfast show, Roberto defended the bonuses for employees as he felt the employees were entitled to it because of all the work they’ve done to improve the food stamp program.
As for his bonus, Roberto cleared the air today during the Breakfast Show as he told host Ray Gibson that he spoke to the hief of the federal assistance program and explained that he should not receive a bonus. Roberto says he gave specific instruction to only give bonuses to the staff of the food stamp program.
Concerns have been raised about these bonuses as some in the community feel that the money should be used to improve other programs under DPHSS like the block grant program.