Local law signed for more funding for DPW administrative costs


Acting governor Ralph DLG Torres signed last week a local law to allow funding for the administrative costs of the Technical Services Division under the Department of Public Works.

House Local Bill 19-12,D2 is now Saipan Local law 19-19. Before the bill was signed, the Technical Services Division could only use 2 percent of the total funds allocated for each locally appropriated capital improvement projects on Saipan over $50,000, provided that the allocation was limited to $10,000 regardless of the total project amount.

“The hurdle is that majority of the projects fall under the $50,000 mark,” the local law states. “[DPW’s] end result is zero collection. DPW is not able to collect the 2 percent and would have to rely on collections from other projects that are above $50,000, which is seldom and rare.”

The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation finds that 2 percent of the total funds is not enough to sustain capital improvement projects. This percentage inadequately copes with the costs associated with the processing of such projects, the law says.

Thus, the new local law amends the Commonwealth Code to mandate a $15,000 threshold instead, with DPW authorized to use 5 percent, instead of 2 percent, of total funds allocated to each project.

Funds allocated will be strictly for administrative costs like copying, certification, advertisements, architectural and engineering design, and other costs except personnel and travel, according to the local law.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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