Senator San Nicolas to investigate expenses for Guam Congress BuildingWritten by Timothy Mchenry
Guam - Senator Mike San Nicolas is ordering an investigation into a reported $1.2 million in change orders for the restoration of the Guam Congress Building.
Senator San Nicolas, the current chairperson for the committee on rules, says he is not signing off on the change orders until "every expense is accounted for." The senator held a press conference to announce Wednesday to announce the investigation to members of the media. San Nicolas cites expenses such as $430,000 for furniture, $250,000 for an audio visual system and $130,000 for landscaping. According to a press release from Senator San Nicolas' office, the investigation will look into whether or not "all laws and procedures were followed" when issuing the change orders.
Press release via Senator Mike San Nicolas:
$1.2 million in change orders were ordered by the previous Executive Director and Chairman on the Committee on Rules, including $430,000 in furniture, $250,000 for an audio visual system, and $130,000 for landscaping. In addition the Guam Preservation Trust, which is responsible for the restoration of the historic Guam Congress Building, informed Senator San Nicolas today that security systems, communications systems and additional furniture were needed for the building, incurring more costs to the project.
"I'm not signing off on anything until these expenses can be accounted for," said Senator San Nicolas. "I've tasked the new Executive Director to investigate the nature of some of these expenses to make sure all laws and proper procedures were followed. If some of these expenses were already committed that may be sunk costs, but no way should the taxpayer pay a penny more than they need to."
"Through cost cutting and internal reallocation within the legislature I am committed to ensuring the restoration of the Guam Congress Building will not require additional taxpayer appropriation," said Senator San Nicolas.
Some Senators have had issue with this cost cutting and internal reallocation, including the rescinding of the distribution of $270,000 in lapse funds from the budget of the late Senator Ben Pangelinan. $30,000 was gifted to each individual majority Senator's budget in the last days of the 33rd Guam Legislature, on top of their regular budget. "I remain committed to holding the sum of these monies in reserve to ensure the legislature is able to pay what we owe with no more additional cost to the taxpayer."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE