The Senate Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation, and Communication has invited Commonwealth Utilities Corp. acting executive director William B. Gilmore and other management team members to attend an oversight hearing on April 11 at 9am at the Senate chambers on Capital Hill.
Committee chair Sen. Sixto K. Igisomar (R-Saipan), in a letter addressed to Gilmore, said the oversight is in connection with additional information the committee requires on CUC’s presentation to the Senate on March 21.
Gilmore, the CUC deputy director, is in an acting capacity since executive director Gary Camacho is off island, along with other board members. Camacho is reportedly coming back to Saipan before April 11.
CUC officials will have a full day of meeting with members of the Legislature since the House Committee on Public Utilities and Communication, headed by Rep. Francisco S. Dela Cruz has also scheduled a meeting on that day at 1:30pm at the House chamber.
Sen. Justo S. Quitugua (Ind-Saipan) is the PUTC vice chair with Sens. Francisco Q. Cruz (R-Tinian) and Steve K. Mesngon (R-Rota) as members.
Igisomar said he informed Gilmore that the committee has already received CUC’s PowerPoint presentation, CNMI Settlement Agreement, their comments on Public Law 19-75, and their master plans on drinking water and wastewater.
The PUTC chair added that they are also following up on their request for CUC to provide documents regarding projected costs for the Department of Public Lands’ homesteads.
DPL Secretary Marianne Teregeyo said her agency would need more than $22 million to fund infrastructure projects—power, water, and sewer—for planned homestead villages on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. The amount is based on CUC’s cost estimates.
Igisomar is also asking for the CNMI government’s most recent account balance with CUC, a chart on SO1 and SO2 projects, and explanations on why a portion of the developer’s tax should be allocated to CUC and why there’s still $2,483,420 in account receivables that have yet to be billed to customers based on fiscal year 2015’s audit report.
He has also asked CUC officials to include the master plan; the copy of CUC procurement regulations in issuing request for proposals, request for quotations, and invitation to bids; and a statement of conflict of interest—if any—among CUC board of directors, and executive and administrative management.
Igisomar said the Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee would also meet soon to begin deliberations on the CNMI’s fiscal year 2018 budget. They are hoping CUC would promptly submit documents.
Igisomar, in a separate letter, is also requesting CUC board chair Adelina Roberto and Camacho to submit copies of CUC’s feasibility study on water supply alternatives for Saipan; the removal of an old engine, alternator (No. 8) and turnkey supply, installation and commissioning of 6x*-10 megawatt diesel generating plant system; and Typhoon Soudelor permanent restoration projects for power plants 1, 2, and 4 on the island.