Guam News - Guam News
The latest criticism is pointed at Speaker Judi Won Pat over a budget rider that exempts the Department of Education from Guam State Clearing House review of federal grants. The speaker meanwhile defends her actions saying the exemption streamlines the grant process for DOE.
Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site
The Governor's Education Liaison Vince Leon Guerrero used an extension granted by the U.S. Department of Education allowing DOE more time to obligate federal ARRA dollars as an opportunity to mention the rider.
“It is beyond reason why reason why the chairwoman on education in the legislature would even think that removing DOE from federal grant clearinghouse review is appropriate considering how often these mistakes are made” Leon Guerrero is quoted saying in the Press Release announcing the extension.
This was the second time the Governor's office has requested an extension on DOE's behalf.
The budget rider introduced by Speaker Won Pat as an amendment to the budget bill,was originally introduced as Bill 493. Won Pat says the legislation was written in response to testimony from DOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez during a budget hearing in July in which Fernandez said an exemption from mandates such as the clearinghouse review would “help streamline operations and improve efficiencies.”
Fernandez declined an invitation from PNC to comment on the clearinghouse issue today. Won Pat however says Fernandez's request was validated in a meeting with U.S. DOE officials Christine Jackson and Mark Robinson.
“The two made it clear that despite the recent implementation of a state of the art financial management system there are still external bottlenecks that delay the process and we're talking about federal grants,” Won Pat told PNC.
Won Pat points out that Guam Community College and the University of Guam have already had the exemptions and says it makes sense for DOE to also be exempted when it comes to consolidated grants, which are typically awarded on an annual basis.
“These are regular grants that we get on a yearly basis,” said Won Pat. “Because of the fact that it has been vetted very little changes, if they need it, needs to be done.”
|< Prev||Next >|