OPA: 126 complaints in FY 2019

Posted on Oct 29 2019


The CNMI Office of the Public Auditor reported that it received a total of 126 complaints in fiscal year 2019, which covers the period from Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2019.

In what it calls its citizen-centric report, OPA noted that 105 of the 126 total complaints were from Saipan, 18 were from Rota, and only three were from Tinian.

A citizen centric report is created with the intent to be transparent to citizens and includes a breakdown of achievements and summary of accomplished work during the previous year, among others.

In the report that it released yesterday, OPA said that 62 of the 126 complaints it got last fiscal year were either unsubstantiated or the OPA lacked jurisdiction over the matters concerned. Twenty-six were referred to the appropriate agency for disciplinary action, while three complaints were referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and five were referred to the CNMI Office of the Attorney General.

By the end of fiscal year 2019, OPA had 31 ongoing or pending cases.

In comparison, for the end of fiscal year 2018, OPA had only 15 cases ongoing or pending.

The previous version of the report for fiscal year 2018 noted that, while they received significantly fewer complaints, majority of those complaints were either unsubstantiated or out of OPA’s jurisdiction.

“…124 [complaints] were found to be unsubstantiated or OPA lacked jurisdiction while 28 were referred to the appropriate agency for disciplinary action. Four were referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office while three were referred to the Office of the Attorney General,” the report previously noted.

In fiscal year 2019, OPA reported that they were able to have staff attend eight training sessions: the 2019 Uniform Guidance and Government and Public Sector Executive Training’ Lakewood Experience 2019 in Lakewood, Colorado; Graduate School USA’s Citizen- Centric Reporting and Quick Response Auditing by Drummond Khan; Automatic Private IP Addressing 2019 Conference in Tumon, Guam; Interviews and Interrogations/Institute of Police Technology and Management; Contract and Grant Fraud Training Program/Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency; Public Corruption Investigations Training Program/Inspector Genera; and the National Computer Forensics Institute/U.S. Secret Service.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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