‘CPA transition report fraught with factual inaccuracies’


The Commonwealth Ports Authority management team has thoroughly reviewed the 17-page transition report prepared by the CPA transition team for the Palacios-Apatang administration and determined that it is full of factual inaccuracies.

During a special CPA board meeting yesterday to discuss the long-awaited CPA transition report, CPA executive director Christopher Tenorio said that, upon review, he and his team found that the report is riddled with factual inaccuracies and that, if its recommendations are carried out, it could potentially prevent CPA from effectively running the CNMI’s ports.

“The purpose of the 2022 CPA Transition Report was to provide an accurate reflection of the current state of CPA’s operations in order to help facilitate the transition between the Torres and Palacios administrations. However, I have discovered that the report is fraught with factual inaccuracies and this has led to recommendations that—if implemented—will hinder CPA’s ability to efficiently and effectively manage and operate the ports,” he said.

Aside from the inaccuracies, Tenorio alleged that some transition team members assigned to investigate CPA had a conflict of interest, with transition members recommending one of their own to sit on the board.

Christopher S. Tenorio

“Even more concerning is the fact that some transition team members have a conflict of interest in drafting this report. For example, the report recommends that at least one current CPA board member be replaced with a member from the transition team. Logically, the administration is more likely to replace CPA board members if the 2022 transition report casts a negative light on CPA’s operations. This incentivizes transition team members to make baseless negative findings and recommendations,” Tenorio said.

The executive director also explained to the board that there are numerous unsupported statements made in the transition report that influenced the transition team’s recommendations.

“Basing recommendations on unsupported facts is dangerous and will lead to policies that will hinder CPA’s ability to carry out its mission. The transition report misinforms the administration of the state of CPA and its operations, and as such the recommendations therein should carry little weight,” Tenorio said.

He acknowledges that there are existing issues of concern, but the inaccuracies overshadow the valid points made by the transition team.

“This is not to say that the transition report is entirely bereft of valid points. CPA acknowledges that there are existing issues of concern, like its fiscal outlook, that must be addressed. CPA has taken steps to address and resolve these challenges and it was hopeful that the transition team’s recommendations would aid in the resolution of these issues. Instead, the valid points in the transition report are overshadowed by the inaccuracies that are peppered throughout the report,” he said.

In closing his report, Tenorio touched on the fact that CPA was given a hard time obtaining the transition report and was only officially given the signed version when CPA was asked to address concerns during a previous Senate session

“I also want to note the difficulties CPA had in obtaining this transition report. Earlier this month, CPA submitted an Open Government Act request, requesting that it be provided a copy of the transition report. In response. CPA was informed that the report was being withheld because it was an ‘internal document.’ The response stated that the transition report will be provided ‘Is]hould action be taken regarding CPA due to the contents of the transition report,’” he said.

“CPA later obtained the transition report from Sen. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota), who referred to information contained within that report at the March 15, 2023, Senate Standing Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Communications Public Hearing. Although CPA was asked to be present and provide comments at that PUTC public hearing, CPA was not afforded an opportunity to review the transition report prior to that hearing,” Tenorio added.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.