August 29, 2005
House passes personal liability bill on illegal reprogramming
The majority members of the House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that aims to hold personally liable any government employee who illegally reprograms or knowingly receives illegally reprogrammed funds. The House said this proposal, contained in House Bill 14-249, accommodates the recommendation of the Office of the Public Auditor on the issue of illegal reprogramming. Under the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Jesus Lizama, no funds shall be reprogrammed to any account which has been zero-funded by the Legislature or to any account for which the Legislature has not made an appropriation. “Any person who illegally reprograms government funds or knowingly receives illegally reprogrammed funds shall each be held personally liable for the amount to the reprogrammed account,” the bill said.
OIA wants ’culturally sensitive’ CIP projects
The U.S. Department of the Interior is seeking to enter into an agreement with local government agencies to ensure that all federally funded projects in the Commonwealth receive thorough assessment of possible effects to the islands’ cultural and historical resources. The other parties in the proposed agreement are the CNMI capital improvement projects coordinator, the CNMI Historic Preservation Office, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs said the agreement aims to delegate OIA’s responsibility to review individual CIP projects, in relation to compliance with the historic preservation law, to the local CIP coordinator.
August 29, 2006
’Teachers exempted from austerity law’
Like other critical government personnel, Public School System teachers and bus staff are exempted from the mandatory workhour reduction as embodied in the newly enacted austerity law, Public Law 15-24, said the Department of Finance and the Legislature yesterday. “They [teachers] are exempted under the law,” said Finance Secretary Eloy Inos. He said, though, that the Education commissioner has the discretion to identify who else among the PSS staff would be exempted. In a separate interview, House Speaker Oscar M. Babauta said that section 4 of P.L. 15-24 identifies the PSS as among the exempted agencies.
EPA official: Most sustainable is wind, solar energy
Wind and solar energy would prove to be most feasible and sustainable for Saipan, according to visiting U.S. Protection Environmental Agency climate change and sustainable development regional coordinator David A. Schaller. “The most sustainable right now would be solar electricity and the wind. You need to look at wind a little bit harder. Solar, [you] can do it tomorrow. You can order solar [panels],” said Schaller during a media briefing yesterday by the Saipan Chamber of Commerce at the Division of Environmental Quality office in Gualo Rai. Schaller will serve as the keynote in the chamber-sponsored Marianas Roundtable to be held on Thursday at Fiesta Resort & Spa.
August 29, 2007
CUC shifts repairs to largest power engine
Power outages may likely be reduced or canceled over the weekend or by next week after the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. shifted repair work to the biggest power engine at the Power Plant 1 in Lower Base. With the arrival of some engine parts-mostly from Singapore-there is a possibility that the 13-megawatt power engine No. 5 could be repaired by Friday, CUC spokesperson Pamela Mathis told Saipan Tribune yesterday. Mathis said engine No. 5 would likely be tested between Friday and Saturday.
MHS batting for about 3.6K rolls of toilet paper
The financial troubles of the CNMI Public School System has tremendously affected its 20 public schools, forcing some on Saipan to resort to different fundraising activities just so they could meet day-to-day operational needs. A perfect example is the Marianas High School, the largest high school in the CNMI, which launched a Toilet Paper Drive last week to stock up on this necessity. MHS principal Karen Borja told Saipan Tribune yesterday that the school has to find alternative sources for its bare minimum requirements for the new school year.