Effective immediately, any new position that will be funded using American Rescue Plan Act money will require the approval of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.
This, Torres said in a memorandum to all department and activity heads yesterday, is intended “to prevent abuse and waste of ARPA funds.”
In the memorandum, Torres said he finds it necessary to take this measure to control the expenditure of ARPA funds “to ensure that the funds are used efficiently and effectively.”
According to the memorandum, copy of which was obtained by Saipan Tribune, the governor also requires that all requests for employment of individuals for ARPA-funded positions shall be pre-approved by him, or if designated by him, by the special assistant for administration.
Torres said ARPA is providing the CNMI significant aid in overcoming its weak economy and shortfall in government revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last June, Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig presented details of how the CNMI government plans to spend over $512 million in ARPA funding.
With $175 million from ARPA and the $103.3 million from the general fund, the government will have its disposal a total of $278.38 million for government operations in the new fiscal year.