THE Senate Special Committee on Office of Grants Management and State Clearing House will begin its oversight hearing Tuesday next week to look into alleged discrepancies in the OGM report pertaining to some federal funds that the CNMI has received over the years.
Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider, who chairs the special committee, set the four-day hearing for June 15, 17, 22 and 24. On each day, the hearing starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Senate chamber.
Hofschneider also requested the other departments and government agencies to attend the oversight hearing.
The hearing will allow OGM Administrator Epiphanio E. Cabrera Jr. to present and explain Public Law 19-49, which created his office, the rules and regulations, the grant process and procedures as well as the reporting requirement to the Legislature.
The committee also wants to hear "a general overview" of grants management, the status report as of March 22, 2021 as well as the single audit report findings for fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Cabrera Jr. was likewise asked to brief the committee on OGM's budget and the scope of its operations.
The committee has asked the following to testify during the hearing: Homeland Security & Emergency Management Special Assistant Gerald Deleon Guerrero, Commonwealth Office of Transportation Authority Special Assistant Alfreda Camacho, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Director Arlene Reyes, Joeten-Kiyu Public Library Director Erlinda Naputi, Office of Planning and Development Director Kodep Ogumoro-Uludong, Department of Commerce Acting Secretary Edward M. Deleon Guerrero, Department of Public Works Secretary James Ada, CNMI Council of Developmental Disabilities Executive Director Pamela C. Sablan, Department of Lands and Natural Resources Secretary Anthony Benavente, Department of Labor Secretary Vicky I. Benavente, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero, Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig and Tinian Mayor Edwin P. Aldan.
The Senate president earlier cited a Senate fiscal analysis report, which, he said, indicated that a total of $18.5 million in grants were not reported by OGM.
"After conducting a fiscal analysis of your compilation of all federal funding, it appears that there are fiscal discrepancies that require further submission of financial statements and expenditure reports," the Senate president told Cabrera Jr. in a letter.