WITH SIGNING OF BILL INTO LAW THAT GIVES CCC MORE POWER
The Commonwealth Casino Commission is now transitioning itself to establish its own bank accounts, cashier, payroll, human resources, procurement regulations, and other things, after Gov. Ralph DLG Torres recently signed a bill into law that enhances CCC’s powers.
In his report to the CCC board during last week’s monthly board meeting, CCC executive director Andrew Yeom said they are thankful to the Legislature and Torres for passing House Bill 21-11 into Public Law 21-38 that clarifies CCC’s regulatory oversight of the Saipan casino industry.
Yeom said since the new law provides no grace period, CCC had to quickly meet up with Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig to work out a Memorandum of Understanding for Finance to continue processing CCC’s payrolls and procurements until they are systematically ready and have the funding transferred into their own account.
He told the board that they have the MOU draft ready for their review and approval so they can proceed with the smooth operation without interruption.
In terms of payroll setup, Yeom said they aim to have the software and the system ready to go by mid-March 2021.
With respect to the procurement regulations promulgation, Yeom said they are working to have them ready for the board’s approval at the meeting next month.
“The bank account should also be ready and available for our use within the next few weeks,” he said, adding that 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.
CCC board chair Edward C. Deleon Guerrero said in an earlier interview that the new law would strengthen the casino commission’s ability to enforce the mandates of the original gaming law, Public Law 18-56, and would clarify and remove some of the ambiguities.