Peter is confirmed as NMI’s 1st female public auditor
The Senate confirmed Friday the appointment of Kina Borja Peter as the public auditor of the CNMI and also confirmed the appointment of former House speaker Oscar M. Babauta as a member of the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. board of directors representing Saipan.
All senators, except Francisco M. Borja who was present at the session, voted “yes” to the recommendation of the Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations to confirm Peter as CNMI public auditor and Babauta as NMHC director.
EAGI committee chair Francisco Q. Cruz said the committee members are convinced that the two have the qualifications and leadership skills necessary to serve their positions, based on the overall assessment of Peter’s and Babauta’s credentials, experiences, testimonies, goals for agency and department, and other relevant issues considered..
With respect to Peter, Cruz said all written and oral testimonies provided to the committee (22 written testimonies and three oral testimonies) unanimously supported her and that there were no written or oral testimonies in opposition.
Pertaining to Babauta, the senator said there were three written testimonies that supported him, seven oral testimonies that supported him, and no written or oral testimonies in opposition.
Peter, who becomes the first female public auditor of the CNMI, said in an interview that she excited with her confirmation. “I’m looking forward to really diving into focus areas for the office and prioritizing for this next calendar year as well as fiscal year in terms of looking at our budget and how we can best restructure our office so that we can continue to support the mandate of our office,” Peter said.
The House had already confirmed Peter’s appointment.
Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios appointed Peter last Nov. 25 to replace outgoing public auditor Michael Pai, who was appointed by then-governor Benigno R. Fitial and served for the last 12 years.
Peter is a former senior finance leader, senior accountant, senior manager, and accounting manager for Boeing.
Peter is a certified public accountant, licensed in the State of Washington and has over 20 years of accounting experience with Deloitte, a big four audit firm in the CNMI and Seattle, Washington and most recently for Boeing Company.
Meanwhile, Babauta stated after the EAGI committee confirmed him last week that he is cognizant of the mandates of NMHC.
Babauta said the need for NMHC to fulfill its goals were never more apparent than after Super Typhoons Soudelor and Yutu, and Typhoon Mangkhut, which all ravaged and destroyed the islands in the Marianas.
“The need to increase homeownership that is decent, safe, and sanitary for persons of low to moderate income, for the elderly, and those with disabilities still exist,” said Babauta, who served as House speaker during the 15th Legislature.
Torres and Palacios appointed Babauta last Dec. 17.