Larson says Finance is ‘coordinating’ with agencies on fund concerns


The Department of Finance is coordinating with other government departments regarding their concerns on funds, Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson said.

Larson said her department is also ready to work with government departments should they need to clarify concerns on finances.

“You always have to be careful with your budget so you don’t overspend,” Larson, in a short comment, said.

The official is apparently giving the advice to several government departments most of which are in the process of finalizing budget proposals to the government.

In the last few weeks, several of the “big” departments—including the Department of Public Safety, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, and Public School System—have presented their budget requests.

The budget hearings will be critical, because the budget requests of government departments exceeded the $145.8-million proposed budget by $38 million.

Meeting request

In May, the Commonwealth Casino Commission said it will be seeking a review of its finances as it continues to hire more personnel in preparation for the opening of a casino in Garapan. The regulatory body is being funded by the nonrefundable, exclusive casino license application fee set by the government.

The commission’s budget is not included in the CNMI government’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016.

Since the initial budget from the license fees is not replenishing itself, the commission is also requesting additional funding of $2.6 million.

Commissioner Joseph Reyes said there is a need for the casino commission to “clear up” its current finances with the Department of Finance.

He told his fellow commissioners that the body needs to check if there are “obligations” and that the regulators need to “move forward.”

The commission did not disclose how much of its initial $2 million budget is still available.

In its latest meeting this month, the commission has yet to set up the meeting with the Finance department.

Joel D. Pinaroc | Reporter
Joel Pinaroc worked for a number of newspapers in the Philippines before joining the editorial team of Saipan Tribune. His published articles include stories on information technology, travel and lifestyle, and motoring, among others. Contact him at

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