Sablan says they haven’t reviewed BOOST documents yet as a joint committee


Christina E. Sablan

Rep. Christina E. Sablan (D-Saipan) said Friday that members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee and Committee on Ways and Means haven’t met yet to review as a joint committee the contents of the documents that came in last week pursuant to their subpoena issued to several entities and persons regarding the Torres’ administration’s Building Optimism, Opportunity and Stability Together, or BOOST Program.

This was learned in response to Rep. Sheila J. Babauta (D-Saipan) asking at the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation meeting what are some of the main issues that have been identified by the joint committees so far and other updates on the BOOST Program hearings or interviews.

Sablan, who was the one who moved to issue the subpoenas, said the things that were asked in the subpoenas were just some of the basics. “What criteria were being used? How many applicants were there? How much money was requested? What’s their rubric? Who was on the review panel? How were decisions being made? Really some very basic elements of the program that weren’t very transparent to the public,” Sablan said.

She said it’s a joint fact-finding effort by the two committees and that a number of subpoenas have been issued. She said they expect the hearings to begin for the witnesses that will be called to testify this Friday.

“The records are just coming in this week and the members of the committees are reviewing them. Dec. 16 is when we are looking at beginning the hearings,” the lawmaker said.

Sablan said there are questions that are being drafted right now and she encourages lawmakers if they have any questions that they’d like the committees to include in the hearings to reach out to the committee chairs or members.

Funded by the American Rescue Plan act, BOOST is project of the Office of the Governor and the Department of Commerce that aims to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to CNMI businesses and non-profit organizations.

Finance Secretary David DLG. Atalig and William “Wil” Castro, who is the chief of staff of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, were among several persons and entities that the committees served with subpoenas to compel them to produce documents and testify related to the administration of the BOOST Program.

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
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