OAG report: 9 employees furloughed due to budget cuts


The Office of the Attorney General furloughed nine Civil Service employees this fiscal year as part of a series of reductions caused by a budget cut arising from a government revenue shortfall, according to the OAG’s Citizen Centric Report for Fiscal Year 2020.

The report said that the reduction-in-force was a ripple effect of a 48% reduction in the fiscal year 2020 budget that forced the government to implement the furlough. The OAG also implemented a 64-hour work schedule.

The OAG report said the revenue shortfall, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in severe reduction in government funding, which affected the office’s personnel and operational budget.

With respect to its budget in fiscal year 2020, $1,417,994 million was from general funds for personnel and operations, and $230, 406 from federal funds, bringing total expenditures to $1,648,405.

The OAG’s total administration collections was $14,070, and total child support collections was $446,729.

The report also stated that the OAG prevailed in 15 of 16 appeals decided in fiscal year 2020, while also prevailing in five litigation cases and two administrative matters.

The OAG also supported a majority of states to settle claims against two opioid drug makers, Purdue and Mallinckrodt.

The OAG also successfully protested the parole of a convicted murder, among other accomplishments.

As for its key initiatives in 2021, the OAG said it will continue to provide legal advice and guidance to the Executive Branch, departments, and agencies and to represent the Commonwealth in the trial court and on matters currently on appeal.

The OAG said it will focus on illegal business practices that hurt consumers and other businesses; implement consumer awareness programs; and investigate consumer complaints.

It will also continue to collaborate with other jurisdictions to expand resource activities to combat illegal drug and criminal activity in the CNMI.

The OAG also intends to continue to promote and ensure an open and transparent government, continue to work on new procurement regulations for the government and provide training to agencies, and continue to explore solutions to mental health issues in the criminal justice system.

Public Law 20-83 requires all agencies to file a CCR, a four-page report created by the Association of Government Accountants as a way to simplify communication between the government and its citizens.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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