OPA recommendation for DLNR to plan to repair Outer Cove Marina unresolved


The Office of the Public Auditor has found that its 2021 audit recommendation for the Department of Lands and Natural Resources to meet with stakeholders to establish an action plan to restore the Outer Cove Marina remains unresolved.

The same applies to OPA’s 2021 audit recommendation for DLNR to identify and establish safety standards for the Outer Cover Marina.

OPA has tracked 36 unresolved audit and inspection recommendations to various government agencies as of Dec. 31, 2022.

OPA said that DLNR restated on Dec. 7, 2022, their need for funding to build a breakwater. DLNR said the breakwater aims to provide cover from storms that will threaten ongoing construction/repair projects.

The breakwater will turn the Outer Cove Marina into a sheltering site for vessels that seek refuse from future disastrous weather.

OPA said they will follow up on DLNR’s progress toward addressing the recommendation in the next reporting period.

On OPA’s recommendation to identify and establish safety standards, OPA said on Dec. 7, 2022, DLNR responded that to resolve the issue, the first recommendation will need to be addressed appropriately.

DLNR said the central government is not able to furnish the funds requested in its Nov. 24, 2021 letter to the Department of Finance for $5 million for fiscal year 2022.

As corrective action, DLNR in its Nov. 24 letter, asked Finance for $5 million to initiate the bidding process for an Architectural and Engineering firm and a construction company to build the breakwater. Finance agrees to assist, but a funding source has yet to be identified.

OPA is hoping that the change in administration will allow Finance to stay committed to helping DLNR identify a source of funding in fiscal year 2023 to tackle the tasks of removing collapsed walkways and other unsafe structure; the installation of a security fence around the dock to increase safety and prevent unauthorized berthing/usage; and adding surveillance cameras and solar-powered lamps throughout the marina to help deter vandalism or abuse of the facility in the future.

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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