Hagåtña – This press release corrects a news article aired by KUAM claiming that the executive branch has spent $6 million on new hires – that is false.
The fact is the executive branch has reduced personnel cost – from $4.2 million to the $3.9 million a pay period as of April. That comes up to an anticipated savings of about $3 million for the remainder of the fiscal year.
There were people hired within the fiscal year to fill vacancies created when employees separated from the government, whether it was through retirement, termination or other reason.
The federal tax cuts act was signed into law in late December, creating a shortfall in the General Fund. Following the passage of the federal law, positions were heavily scrutinized before they were filled. Hiring was restricted to positions that were funded through federal monies or special funds, or were deemed necessary – these would include police officers, and Department of Revenue and Taxation personnel (which, by the way, the Legislature slammed them for not hiring people quickly enough).
Other offices that were included in the list published by KUAM don’t fall under the executive branch. Solid Waste is managed by federal receiver GBB and the Mayors Council also manages its own funds and hiring. The KUAM article does correctly note that the Mayors Council hired people in order to continue services for senior citizens. However, we reiterate that the federal funding for this program is the same that was used to pay Catholic Social Services before they decided to discontinue the contract they held to provide these same services.
The bottom line is all executive branch agencies and offices have reduced their overall budgets as part of the $30 million reduction in General Fund spending while also maintaining government services.

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