MPLT’s financial statements get good marks in audit


The Marianas Public Land Trust has gotten a favorable report from an independent auditor that reviewed its financial statements for the year that ended Sept. 30, 2019.

The independent auditor, Burger, Comer, and Magliari, found that the financial statements it reviewed present the financial position of MPLT as of Sept. 30, 2019, in a fair manner.

BCM, which was hired by the Office of the Public Auditor to do the audit, found that the changes in MPLT’s net position and its cash flows for the year are “fairly stated, in all material respects, in relation to the basic financial statements as a whole” and were in accordance with accounting principles accepted in the United States.

BCM said they did not identify any deficiencies in internal control that they consider to be material weaknesses. That is not to say that material weaknesses are not there. BCM said that material weaknesses may exist that have not been identified.

To check whether MPLT’s financial statements are free from material misstatement, BCM said it performed tests on compliance with laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements. “The results of our tests disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards,” BCM said.

MPLT disclosed that its assets increased in 2019 by $2,398,647 million over the amount in 2018, due primarily due to the increase in the fair market value of its investments.

MPLT’s total liabilities in 2019 decreased by only $69 due primarily to net changes to amounts due to brokers, accounts payable, and accrued expenses.

MPLT said such changes resulted in an increase of $2,398,716 in its total fund balance for 2019.

MPLT’s total operating revenues for 2019 and 2018 were $5,990,526 and $12,330,886, respectively.

MPLT’s investment income (excluding net increase in fair value of investment and contributions from Department of Public Lands) for 2019 and 2018 was $3,364,007 and $2,844,386, respectively.

Distributions to the CNMI general fund for 2019 and 2018 were $2,265,081 and $1,840,206, respectively.

The cumulative amount distributed to the CNMI general fund since inception in 1983 has been $63,555,853.

MPLT said that, as a result of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, economic uncertainties have arisen that are likely to impact the day-to-day administration of MPLT.

MPLT said while this matter is expected to negatively impact its results of operations and financial position, the related financial impact cannot be reasonably estimated at this time.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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