Commonwealth Casino Commission executive director Andrew Yeom has informed the CCC board that they are currently in talks with Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig to set up CCC’s own bank account.
CCC is now transitioning itself to setting up its own bank accounts, cashier, payroll, human resources, procurement regulations, and other administrative matters, after Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signed into law last January a measure that enhances CCC’s powers.
Yeom said that, as he had earlier indicated, they inked a memorandum of understanding with Atalig for the CNMI Department of Finance to continue processing payroll and procurements for CCC until CCC is systematically ready and have the funding be transferred into CCC’s account.
He said they submitted with the Office of the Attorney General a legal services request to obtain an official legal opinion/clarity on establishing a separate bank account, but have not heard any answers.
Yeom believes they should just go ahead and follow Public Law 21-38 that requires CCC to establish a separate bank account to manage its own finances, including payroll.
To this end, Yeom said, they need Atalig’s help to make this happen by transferring a certain amount, perhaps $500,000, to set up CCC’s own bank account.
Public Law 21-38 clarifies CCC’s regulatory oversight of the Saipan casino industry.
Yeom earlier stated that in terms of payroll setup, they are targeting to have the software and the system ready to go by mid-March 2021.
With respect to procurement regulations promulgation, Yeom said they are working to have them ready for the board’s approval at the meeting next month.
He said the amount of funding for CCC still remains to be discussed and decided with Atalig.
Under the new law, Public Law 21-38, CCC, and not the Finance secretary shall establish and maintain a CCC regulatory fee fund to be kept separate and apart from the general fund of the government.
The new law provides that, as an autonomous agency, CCC shall determine its staffing levels for full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees.
The new law also gives, among other things, CCC the authority to issue a casino license.