“ADDITIONAL hiring of law enforcement personnel has reduced the amount of overtime compared to prior year as there are more employees working regular hours and sharing responsibility for the CNMI safety.”
This is part of the "corrective action plan" that the Department of Finance said it has implemented in response to the independent auditors' report of Deloitte on CNMI internal control and on compliance for the year that ended on Sept. 30, 2019 or fiscal year 2018.
It was in FY 2018 when cabinet members and other government officials were paid 2.5 OT pay in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu. The CNMI’s total OT pay that the Federal Emergency Management Agency did not reimburse amounted to $8 million.
The audit report submitted by Deloitte indicates, among other findings, that there were CNMI government "activity levels" that reported expenditures "in excess of budget allotments for the year ended Sept. 30, 2019."
The largest amount was $19,027,432 for "disaster expenditures," which was not appropriated in the FY 2018 budget.
The other government expenditures that exceeded the FY 2018 budget allotments were the following:
• Local Medicaid expenditures and medical referrals, which were appropriated $6,758,124 but cost $21,492,519 or an over expenditure of $14,734,395.
• The Department of Public Safety, which was appropriated $7,773,751 but spent $13,515,178 — an over expenditure of $5,741,427.
• The Group Health and Life Insurance for government employees was allotted $8,977,663 but cost $12,359,052 — an over expenditure of $3,381,389.
• The Department of Finance was appropriated $8,140,544 but spent $9,689,426 — an over expenditure of $1,548,882.
• The Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services was allotted $5,502,570 but spent $6,580,541 — an over expenditure of $1,077,971.
• The offices of the governor and the lt. governor were appropriated $7,317,977 but spent $8,231,559 — an over expenditure of $913,582.
• The Rota municipal government was appropriated $8,095,749 but spent $8,926,526 — an over expenditure of $830,777.
• The Office of the Public Auditor was appropriated $1,421,552 but spent $2,032,045 — an over expenditure of $610,493.
• The Department of Corrections was appropriated $5,225,215 but spent $5,950,693 — an over expenditure of $725,478.
• The Department of Public Works was appropriated $2,989,655 but spent $3,420,516 — an over expenditure of $430,861.
• The Tinian municipal government was appropriated $8,292,213 but spent $8,646,078 — an over expenditure of $353,865.
• The Department of Commerce was appropriated $1,815,735 but spent $2,076,319 — an over expenditure of $260,584.
• The judiciary was appropriated $5,788,188 but spent $6,012,157 — an over expenditure of $223,969.
• The Office of Attorney General was allotted $2,737,390 but spent $2,886,733 — an over expenditure of $149,343.
• Boards and commissions were allotted a total of $1,974,502 but spent $2,115,132 — an over expenditure of $140,630.
• The debt service was allotted $9,548,750 but the government ended up paying $9,564,446 — an additional $15,696.
• The Department of Lands and Natural Resources was appropriated $3,392,943 but spent $3,406,762 — an over expenditure of $13,819.
• The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs was appropriated $3,207,672 but spent $3,209,364 — an over expenditure of $1,692.
The independent auditor’s report recommended that responsible Finance personnel should “examine issues attendant to the over expenditures and should assess the propriety of budgeted levels.”
In his response to the report, Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig said, "The CNMI agrees with the finding and continuously works towards addressing over expenditures and determining the appropriate budgetary levels for the Commonwealth. Areas affecting public health and human welfare are an issue as areas such as medical referral for patients require urgent health care [that is] not available in the Commonwealth. It is anticipated that revenue will continue to rise to address the areas where the Commonwealth often experiences budgetary shortfalls. Additional hiring of law enforcement personnel has also reduced the amount of overtime compared to prior years as there are more employees working regular hours and sharing responsibility for the CNMI safety.”