Torres reviewing bill to restructure management of federal grants


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres is hearing concerns from agencies on the bill to restructure how grants are managed among agencies and departments.

Torres yesterday was asked for the status of House Bill 19-90, which is on his desk for action and creates a “state clearinghouse” for grants within the administration.

Torres told reporters that he is waiting for the Office of Attorney General for its recommendation on the bill.

He added that agencies have “quite a few concerns” with the bill and have brought up issues they have heard from federal grantors with the bill.

“The ultimate goal of our grants office is to assist to all the agencies and departments to not just follow the grants itself but to also to make sure we don’t fall back. That’s the goal.

“I want to make sure that…grants are not hampered or jeopardized. That’s the biggest” concern, Torres said.

The bill aims to provide an oversight agency to ensure the financial and performance requirements of grants are met, and cites previous findings on the “unacceptable number” of federal grant “non-compliances” in recent years.

The bill tallied an average of 34 such findings a year and as of 2014, a cumulative questioned costs amounting to $45 million.

For one, the Commonwealth Council for Arts and Culture lost for the second time recently its grants from National Endowment for the Arts or NEA, which CCAC solely depends on to provide most of the programs and services to local artists.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at

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