Public auditor Kina B. Peter released the Office of Public Auditor’s “Report on CNMI Agencies’ Implementation of Audit Recommendations” last Thursday, March 11, 2021, that cleared the Department of Public Lands of two citations.
One of the cleared citations is Report 19-02 issued on April 19, 2019 which was regarding the “Inspection of the Assessment and Collection of Fees for Lease L91040S. Three recommendations from this audit have now been “resolved” by OPA, as stated in page 14 of OPA’s Report No 21-01
OPA also cleared DPL of Audit Report 18-01 which was issued in July 2018, which was regarding “Audit of the Management of Land Leases and Temporary Permits” and is now “resolved by OPA, as stated in page 16 of the report.
DPL has continuously maintained that it acted in line with its policies on Lease L91040S, and has tightened SOPs to ensure that we remain compliant with collection of fees.
DPL has also successfully received an unqualified audit from Deloitte and Touche for the fourth consecutive year. DPL commissions an audit after the end of every fiscal year. DPL publishes a bid every year for interested firms to perform the audit. DPL is now processing the documents for selection of the firm to perform the audit for fiscal year 2020.
“This is a testament to DPL’s hard work and fiscal responsibility to ensure proper procedures are in place when managing public lands,” the department said in a statement last Friday.
The Constitution requires that after DPL deducts operational expenses from all lease revenue, money remaining must be remitted to Marianas Public Land Trust. DPL remitted $4,451,471.00 for remaining funds from fiscal year 2019, as per the Constitution. DPL said it will issue a separate press release on this matter.
“Since 2016, DPL has also maintained an unqualified audit for DPL’s financial audits. DPL has never had unqualified audits prior, and unqualified audits four years in a row for fiscal years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 attests to the entire department’s staff and management’s efforts to ensure that all rules and regulations are followed,” the DPL statement added.
The audits can be found on OPA’s website at: https://www.opacnmi.com/oockuvoa/2021/03/Report-on- CNMI-Agencies-Implementation-of-Audit-Recommendations-OPA-Report-No.-21-01.pdf (PR)