Updated legislation introduced terminating inactive special fund accounts

Senator Telo Taitague (PNC file photo)

Senator Telo Taitague has filed Bill 152 which proposes to close inactive Government of Guam Special Revenue Funds (SRFs).

The Office of Public Accountability (OPA) issued Report No. 19-02 highlighting 86 SRFs including 30 accounts which the office recommended closing in prior audit reports. Senator Taitague offered a similar proposal (Bill 61) during the 35th Guam Legislature which did not move forward through the legislative process. Related measures including Bills 301 and 305 were put forward during the 28th Guam Legislature attempting to close inactive SRFs.

Regarding the management of numerous dormant and inactive SRFs, OPA Report No. 19-02 indicated that during its latest audit the OPA found a number of SRFs not actively used. “Between June 6, 1995, and September 30, 2017, DOA established 194 SRFs within its financial management system. Of the 194, 86 were inactive for approximately 1 to 12 years as of FY 2017. The number of SRFs had been increasing because dormant or inactive SRFs can only be closed by enabling legislation,” the report stated.

According to the OPA, DOA is managing 194 SRFs, 86 of which are inactive. Of the 86, eight have negative balances ranging from $0.25 to $519,000. Most of these inactive funds were already recommended for repeal in prior audits, but recommendations were not acted upon.

“Despite earlier efforts to close inactive special funds, the legislature has yet to pass legislation which is necessary to repeal the laws that established these funds. Bill 152 seeks to finally address what the current public auditor has asked for since 2019. As the co-sponsor of a similar measure (Bill 301) which was introduced during the 28th Guam Legislature, Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz understands how critical Bill 152 is to cleaning up GovGuam’s books,” Senator Taitague commented. “Moreover, I wish to thank the Legislative Counsel for helping to draft an improved proposal which will hopefully be considered by the full legislature in the coming months.”

(Senator Telo Taitague Release)