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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

PSS wants to tap service of legislative consultant

The CNMI Public School System may soon bring in an expert that will primarily assist the system in working on legislative matters.

This after the PSS and the Board of Education announced last week that they are soliciting competitive sealed proposals from individuals or firms interested in becoming a “legislative consultant” for PSS.

BOE chair Herman T. Guerrero told Saipan Tribune Friday that the decision to tap the services of a legislative consultant for public schools is to ensure that PSS concerns on specific legislation and other related matters are properly conveyed to lawmakers.

“We have so much things to do at the board and certainly we need assistance. Board members don’t get compensation and a lot of times we’re going around. But we’re doing all this for our students. By getting onboard a legislative consultant, it will be a great help to us and the PSS,” Guerrero explained.

The board has a standing committee on legislative matters, chaired by board vice chair Lucy Blanco-Maratita. According to Guerrero, the hiring of a legislative consultant will not conflict with the work of this panel.

The proposed consultant, once hired, will be under the supervision and authority of the Commissioner of Education, Dr. Rita A. Sablan.

Guerrero explained some specific tasks of the new consultant.

“We need to figure out how we can talk more on one-to-one basis to our lawmakers to get something moved and accomplished within the Legislature. And that’s basically the task we’re expecting from the consultant,” said Guerrero.

He disclosed that PSS comments on some pending bills were ignored in the past. “They [lawmakers] request comments and they usually ignore it and it’s frustrating on our part. We provided PSS’ comments and they just do the opposite,” he said.

Guerrero said he personally support Sablan’s decision to tap a consultancy service on legislative issues so that someone can focus on each and every legislation that will impact public schools.

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