Speaker calls for ‘informational briefing’ on GovGuam’s response to COVID-19 pandemic

Speaker Tina Muna Barnes

Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes, the chairwoman on public accountability, has called for an informational briefing on the government of Guam’s response to COVID-19.

After meeting with Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero Thursday, the Speaker wrote a letter to the Governor listing a wide array of topics which she expects the administration to provide a briefing on at a hearing that she has called for next week on Thursday May 14 at 9 a.m.

The briefing will be broadcast on GTA Channel 21, Docomo Channel 117/60.4, and also streamed on the Legislature’s YouTube channel.

“My goal for this informational briefing is to get a better understanding of what federal programs are available, what have we applied for, what have we received, and most importantly: how will we spend it,” said the Speaker in her release.

“Our People are struggling, and I feel like we can do a better job getting information out” stated the Speaker.

The topics the Speaker said she wants a briefing on are:

Government of Guam Response Plan to combat COVID-19:

  • A timeline of the steps taken by GovGuam to respond to COVID-19
  • An understanding of the logic, rationale, and steps behind the procurement of quarantine and isolation facilities and costs associated with each and all facilities
  • Standard Operating Procedures, staffing, and duties of detailed personnel for Quarantine Facilities and Isolation Facilities
  • $117.9M Budget from the funds Allocated to Guam from the CARES ACT
  • How were these numbers derived?
  • How were requests from Agencies prioritized?
  • Status of the Updated Guam Pandemic Plan

Government of Guam Recovery Plan from COVID-19: 

  • Process behind the creation of the tiered PCOR approach
  • $20 M Small Business Relief Program as outlined in the Budget Submitted for CARES ACT fund – Scope of Work and plan of action for GEDA’s Economic Impact Study as outlined
    in the Budget Submitted for CARES ACT fund
  • Plan of Action for the Government of Guam in response to revenue reductions

In light of over $785,836,000 that has been allocated or awarded to Guam in response to COVID-19 by the Trump Administration, the Speaker also requested a presentation on the following:

Support Received from the Trump Administration in Response to COVID-19 

  • $10.1M that has been obligated to Guam by FEMA as of April 27th,2020.
  • $736,000 in CARES ACT Funding that has been awarded to the Guam Department
    of Administration.
  • Status on Municipal Liquidity Facility Lending Program to ensure funding for essential services.
  • $2.6M in COVID-19 funding through HUD.
  • $12M in US DOI Grants
  • These require you to apply for grants, and it seems that the Administration has applied for and been awarded the funds.
  • Clarification on what these funds will be used for.
  • $1.5M in dislocated worker grants to Guam.
  • $3 Billion from USDA that can be used to purchase fresh produce, dairy, and meat
  • $2.7 M in Federal Transit Administration funds to help Public Transportation on
  • The Department of Veteran’s affairs provides services based on requests by states
    and territories. Has this request been made?
  • $2.9M in funds through the US DOJ for Guam.

“I join our community in seeking clarity on the status of our Government’s finances, and I am confident that the Administration will come to the table and give us answers” concluded
Speaker Muña Barnes.