Senator urges austerity measures for agencies under her oversight

Senator Kelly Marsh (Taitano) (PNC file photo)

As Guam’s tourism forecast for the coming year is only a fraction of previous years, the Government of Guam is bracing for a dramatic shortfall in revenue. In light of these difficult economic projections, Senator Kelly Marsh (Taitano) penned a letter to the agencies under her oversight urging them to find creative and innovative ways of continuing to prioritize their mandates, while decreasing their locally funded operational costs.

As the Chairwoman of the Committee on Heritage and the Arts, Parks, Guam Products, Hagåtña Revitalization, Self-Determination, and Regional Affairs, Senator Marsh (Taitano) has oversight over instrumentalities such as Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of CHamoru Affairs, Hagåtña Redevelopment and Restoration Authority, and the Guam Public Library System.

While recognizing the challenges the economic forecast presents, she encouraged creative and innovative thinking to reach this goal. Senator Marsh Taitano also noted that many agencies were already laying the groundwork through existing partnerships and networks of cooperation.

She wrote, “Many of you already have partnerships in place that have done many good things for your agency which is commendable. Build on those partnerships and develop new ones with fellow government entities in a “One GovGuam” approach so that as you help them meet their mandates, they assist you in achieving yours.”

In her letter, she outlined different approaches that departments and agencies could take, from developing public-private partnerships, to working with experts within the government and the community to shore up applications for federal grants.

She reminded the directors that, “It is reported that more than a $150 million of federal grants are lost to the community of Guam each year simply due to a lack of governmental entities applying for them. Please work with experts in your field, the Clearinghouse, the Bureau of Statistics and Plans, or some other person or entity that can assist in scouring federal government opportunities to fund supplies, equipment, projects, activities, and more for your agency.”

After highlighting in her letter the work different agencies were already doing and potential paths they could take towards innovation, the Senator offered her thanks. She wrote, “I thank you all for your hard work and for your commitment toward getting us through the next few years of economic recovery by thinking creatively and strategically on behalf of our community. I will be calling upon your entities over the next couple of months for informational briefings in which you can share your progress on the above.”