Speaker Upset Over Need To FOIA Funding Info; Administration Says FOIA Was Unnecessary

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Guam – The Department of the Interior has approved the governor’s request that will allow Gov Guam to get additional section 30 money that can be given to UOG to avert a tuition hike.

 Senator Ben Pangelinan and Speaker Judi Won Pat introduced bill 308 to appropriates $1.3 million dollars to UOG from this extra section 30 money in order to keep UOG from raising it’s tuition. Although she is happy that the request for the additional money has been approved Speaker Judi Won Pat says she’s still disappointed that the legislature had to use a freedom of information act or FOIA request to find out that the governor was requesting additional money before they could introduce a bill appropriating that money to UOG. “The only way to get that information was to FOIA the information,” said Speaker Won Pat adding, “and if he was saying that his management team his financial management team has been looking at this for some time then why didn’t he come forward and share this information with us.”

 The governor’s spokesman and director of communications Troy Torres says that that the administration would’ve given the information without a FOIA request. “On the suggestion that we with held information that’s absolutely untrue we didn’t with hold any information from the public or from the legislature.,” said Torres adding,”they could’ve just called and said did you make a request we would’ve said yes or if they had called and asked what are you doing to get more money from section thirty if it was a priority for them to get the information then we would’ve of course provided the information over the phone or by email or in a letter.”

 As for whether or not the governor will sign bill 308 Torres says although they agree with giving UOG the money it needs to avert a tuition hike they are still reviewing the bill.