Slider
Slider

|

Slider

‘This is the right time to restructure the government’

Local
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres believes that this is the right time to restructure the Commonwealth government and address issues that have been raised through the years.

These include a “bloated” government, overspending, travels, the need for accountability, and positions that should be audited, Torres said during the closing session of the Fiscal Response Summit on Tuesday.

Also participating in the summit, which was held online, are officials of the judiciary, lawmakers, Graduate School USA representatives, and private sector representatives.

“None of us want to furlough anyone,” the governor said, “but at the same time, we have to live within our means. We can sit here all day and blame each other or we can address and acknowledge where we are today, what are we facing, but more importantly, where do we go from here?”

At the end of the day, he said, “this is one Commonwealth headed in one direction, and one community. A lot of the decisions that have been made — I am sure that each of us have our reservations or total disagreement with them. What is most critical now is how do we move forward, how do we get to where we need to be, and what actions we need to make to move forward….”

With the commencement of the summit on Thursday, two working groups were formed to look into the restructuring of the government, and the challenges the CNMI is currently facing amid the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic downturn.

 The governor has asked the working groups to reconvene on May 14, July 14, and Sept. 14 so they can follow up on their recommendations and if these are being implemented already.

“I hope that every time we meet, there is progress…in making sure that we address concerns. [I hope] that after this summit, there won’t be a bloated government, there won’t be over-expenditures on travel or other [items], and that there is complete accountability. [I hope that] this summit sets the tone for the next three or four years,” the governor said.

Many pieces of legislation need to be passed, he added. “I want to continue to work with the speaker of the House, the president of the Senate, as well as our judicial branch. We have a lot of things that we need to address with the tax structure, annual leave, rebates, and community trust funds.”

He said there is also a lot of work that needs to be addressed immediately in the executive branch.

He noted that the summit is “not the governor’s summit…. This…is our Commonwealth summit, because when the economy goes up, we all go up.”

He also stated the importance of collaborating with the private sector not just during challenging times, but also “when times are good.”

In closing, Gov. Torres thanked Graduate School USA, the Department of the Interior-Office of Insular Affairs, the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, the CNMI Legislature, the judiciary, the private sector, and all members of the community who “tuned in” during the online summit.

He added, “We are one Commonwealth. This is our government. We may disagree, but we all have to move forward together, and address our differences along the way.”

 

 

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider

Read more articles

Visit our Facebook Page

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider