OTECH’s future: GovGuam will go backwards into to the dark ages
July 17, 2018
Hagåtña – With Governor Calvo’s veto in place on bill 262-34, which intended to repeal the 2% sales tax — the Guam Memorial Hospital, Department of Education, and existing government services continue to have a future with progress.
If the Legislature’s political agenda persists and senators override the Governor’s veto, the Government of Guam loses out on a solution that addresses the $160 million financial gap left by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This would thrust GovGuam into a fiscal crisis in FY2019 on October 1, 2018.
A lack of solution will roll the Office of Technology (OTECH) into the “dark age” said Frank Lujan, Chief Technology Officer. “It would be the equivalent of taking us back into the dark ages – typewriters, manual processing – everything would slow down.”
OTECH manages point of sale system and network connectivity abilities that impact agencies like the Guam Police Department, Department of Public Health and Social Services, and the Department of Administration – just to name a few.
“Modern accounting policies and practices depend on constant and uninterrupted access to financial records that are held electronically,” Edward Birn, Director of the Department of Administration added. “If we went back to hand written ledgers, everything would be about 5 times slower. It would be a backwards step in our attempts to improve financial reporting systems.”
Degradation in OTECH’s ability to deliver services to GovGuam agencies would severely hamper the government’s network and individual agency’s accessibility to core servers that house daily government applications.
In Governor Calvo’s veto message to the Legislature on Friday, the Governor reminded Speaker BJ Cruz, “Mr. Speaker, you have repeatedly warned your colleagues that the shortfall in revenues caused by the federal tax cuts is real and that a repeal of the sales tax without an equally real solution is nothing but a fallacy. “There are some real tough times ahead … I assure you that the revenue loss is at least $120 million and close to $160 million if not more,” you told your fellow Senators. “The loss to the General Fund is real.”
Speaker BJ Cruz and Governor Calvo have said there has to be a solution put forth by Senators to help fill the nearly $160 million shortfall, while also reducing expenditures. Without a solution to the shortfall, creating a budget that allows the government to continue providing services will be a challenge.

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