OPA: 34 recommendations for Finance still unresolved

OPA tracks a total of 48 audit, inspection recommendations to Finance, other agencies

The Office of the Public Auditor has determined that 34 audit and inspection recommendations issued to the Department of Finance, including 15 new recommendations, were unresolved as of Dec. 31, 2011.

Unresolved recommendation refers to one in which the agency cannot take immediate action, or OPA has not been informed by the agency or department of any action taken to address the recommendation.

Temporary Public Auditor Dora Deleon Guerrero provided yesterday members of the Interagency Audit Coordinating Advisory Group with a copy of the status report on CNMI agencies’ implementation of recommendations reported in audit and inspection reports issued by OPA as of Dec. 31, 2022.

Members of the advisory group are Senate President Edith E. DeLeon Guerrero (D-Saipan), House of Representatives Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), House minority leader Patrick H. San Nicolas (R-Tinian), acting Finance secretary Tracy B. Norita, and special assistant for the Office of Management and Budget Virginia Villagomez.

Deleon Guerrero said OPA tracked a total of 48 audit and inspection recommendations.

OPA’s procedures include sending follow-up emails and contacting government agencies.

According to OPA’s report on the status of audit recommendations, the unresolved for Finance were eight on audit of government vehicles, seven on audit of cash on Tinian and Rota, nine on audit of the Hotel Occupancy Tax, two on audit of the CNMI government travel policy, two more on audit of government vehicles, five on audit of CNMI Government Fuel Contract, and one on audit of excise taxes.

With respect to unresolved audit and inspection reports on other agencies, OPA determined there were two outstanding on audit of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources Outer Cove Marina Facility, five on audit of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s CNMI Medical Referral Services Office, three on inspection of the Commonwealth Election Commission’s ballot accountability, and one on audit of CHCC’s patient revenue cycle.

Regarding the unresolved audit of government vehicles, among many OPA’s recommendations was for Finance Division of Procurement Services to establish policies and procedures to ensure all supporting documents for all purchases are complete, properly filed, monitored, and maintained.

Among other recommendations was for Procurement and Supply to store documents in an orderly and efficient manner to ensure all supporting documents are easily accessible and readily available.

OPA noted that, with these two recommendations, Procurement Services did not provide a status update on its corrective action as of Dec. 31, 2022.

On audit of cash on Tinian and Rota, among the seven recommendations was that collection points within the same building be consolidated to provide a central collection point for efficiency and better use of resources.

OPA noted that Finance did not provide a status update on its corrective action as of Dec. 31,2022.

Pertaining to the audit of the Division of Revenue and Taxation’s Hotel Occupancy Tax, one of the nine recommendations was to adopt regulations that interpret the HOT Law’s use of the term accommodations and enable DRT’s uniform enforcement of HOT.

OPA noted that DRT did not provide a status update on its corrective action as of Dec. 31, 2022.

On audit of travel policy, one of two recommendations was to adopt a uniform policy by regulation and restrict the purchase of first class, business class, or any other premium class designation as required by the law.

OPA noted it was unable to locate any publication of proposed amendments to the travel regulations within the Commonwealth Register as of Jan. 24, 2022.

OPA said Finance did not provide a status update on its corrective action as of Dec. 31, 2022.

Regarding audit of the fuel contract, among the five recommendations was to adopt, implement, and communicate standard operating policies and procedures for the issuance, renewals, and cancellation of fuel cards.

OPA said the Procurement and Supply did not provide a status update on its corrective action as of Dec. 31, 2022.

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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