Flashback Oct. 24, 2000-2002
Oct. 24, 2000
PSS employees get salary increase
The Public School System has began disbursing staff compensation adjustments to qualified employees after two years of running without salary increases due to austerity measures put in place by the present administration. More than 600 PSS principals, vice principals, and staff are recipients to the one-step or 3 to 5 percent salary increases being given out this month. Due to technical glitches, however, half of the eligible recipients have yet to receive the salary raise, according to the PSS budget office. “Since the time we had our new financial system, we have not been giving out raises. . .we’re just experiencing some technical problems,” said PSS acting Fiscal Budget Officer Bill Matson.
NIMO pushes for passage of 3 legislation
The Northern Islands Mayor’s office has pressed anew lawmakers to act on three pending legislation envisioned to benefit residents of the remote islands as well as the Commonwealth’s tourism industry. Northern Islands Mayor Joseph T. Ogumoro said passing the proposed initiatives is the least the Legislature can to do to assist Northern Islands residents resettle safely to the islands and become active and contributing members of the Commonwealth family. Tailored to foster developments in the islands of Anatahan, Sarigan, Alamagan, Pagan, Agrigan and Asuncion, the mayor underscored it is about time that the government set the initiatives into motion, citing that in its Capital Improvement Projects agenda for the whole Commonwealth, the Northern Islands has been inadvertently overlooked.
Oct. 24, 2001
New law bans phosphates use in NMI
Eight weeks after being passed by the Legislature, Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio scored one point for Mother Earth after signing into law a measure that would prohibit the use of cleaning agents containing phosphates in the CNMI. Besides banning the sale, manufacture, distribution, and use of detergents containing phosphate, House Bill 12-167 also grants the Division of Environmental Quality the power to pass rules and regulations necessary to regulate the sale and use of phosphorus base chemicals. The measure, primarily authored by Rep. Rosiky F. Camacho, now goes down the CNMI statutory books as Public Law 12-66. Before this, the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands had been actively lobbying for the passage of the bill.
WRO fails to act on OPA recommendations
More than two years after the Washington Representative’s Office (WRO) was audited, some questionable practices found by the Office of the Public Auditor remain unresolved, giving rise to questions about the Office’s conviction to implement the audit recommendations. The OPA has confirmed that, in particular, one recommendation enjoining Washington Rep. Juan N. Babauta to collect on the money he loaned to his employees from his representation funds remains open. The OPA defines an open recommendation as one where no action or plan of action has been made by the department or agency being audited. The OPA said that, based on their latest recommendation tracking system, there is still a balance of $3,150.25 that remains to be collected from the money that Babauta loaned out from his representation funds.
Oct. 24, 2002
OPM, lawmakers take shot at solving PL 13-1 dilemma
The Office of Personnel Manager and the Legislature, together with the Babauta administration, sat down yesterday in an attempt to resolve the issue on the advance notices that would have terminated the services of at least 354 CNMI government employees. The sparse attendance, however, of House of Representatives lawmakers forced the group to hold off on making any final decisions until they could meet again at an unspecified date. Gov. Juan N. Babauta later told reporters that the meeting was intended to bring together members of the Legislature and Office of Personnel Management Director Juan I. Tenorio to clarify certain steps that he has to take in relation some provisions in Public Law 13-1 that affect both civil service and excepted service contract employees.
CPA wants financial relief in place of port fee waiver
The Commonwealth Ports Authority is seeking the Tinian Legislative Delegation’s assistance for a financial relief in lieu of the granting of the passenger fee waiver request. This, according to CPA Executive Director Carlos H. Salas, would help the ports authority to effectively operate the Tinian seaport despite the anticipated reduction in revenue due to the requested waiver on passenger fee. Salas said the Tinian delegation proposal will be taken up in the upcoming CPA Board meeting. “The Board has to consider carefully the financial relief and where to get the funds.”