AG’s employees excluded from pay raise as corruption investigations start, though no legal exclusions exist in appropriations law

Several senators, including the one in charge of the government’s budget oversight, are willing to correct a so-called oversight in the appropriation of funds to cover the cost of the recently-implemented 22 percent pay raises for GovGuam employees under the general pay plan. The oversight: One line agency was excluded, the Office of the Attorney General of Guam.

The general pay plan includes employees not under the professional categories of employees (i.e. nurses, lawyers, teachers, law enforcement, etc.). Examples of general pay plan positions include secretaries, administrative assistants, social workers, managers, supervisors, bus drivers, school aides, technicians, etc. The majority of employees under the line agencies of the government are under the general pay plan. That includes 131 employees in the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of Guam.

None of them were given the 22 percent pay raise, making the OAG the only line agency not included in the appropriation by senators.

The OAG did not find out about its employees’ exclusion until after all other GPP employees throughout the line agencies and even some semi-autonomous agencies were funded and paid the pay raise.

“We are more than willing and happy to provide solutions to the OAG and its employees,” budget chairman Sen. Joe San Agustin wrote to Kandit in an email. He said his office is working on legislation that will include the OAG in the 22 percent pay increase, and make it retroactive to when everyone else received theirs: April 1, 2023.

Attorney General Douglas Moylan confirmed his office has been working with Mr. San Agustin to effectuate the change.

But Public Law 37-3 is not an authorization for the administration to implement pay raises. That authority already existed through the Hay Study of a decade ago. That Hay Study included the OAG, and its GPP members. Public Law 37-3 is an appropriations act, which authorizes the governor to spend money on the pay raises.

Nothing in the appropriation, legislative intent, or any of the supporting documents attached to Public Law 37-3, which makes the appropriation, excludes the OAG. In fact, the appropriation is made specific to the Guam Department of Administration, which controls the pay checks of the line agencies, to include the OAG, officially known in the government’s ledgers as the Department of Law.

“DOA cuts the checks out of General Fund,” OAG accountant supervisor Thomas Paulino confirmed. “OAG does not own any bank accounts.”

“The sum of Sixteen Million Dollars ($16,000,000) shall be appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Administration (DOA) for the purpose of paying salary adjustments to employees affected by the GPP,” the statute states. It goes on to authorize DOA to allocate the funds within and outside the line agencies:

“DOA is hereby authorized to allocate funding to other departments and agencies under the Executive Branch for implementation of the GPP.”


AG’s employees being punished for boss’ investigations against corruption?

Kandit asked all 15 senators whether the OAG was being punished by the political establishment because of Mr. Moylan’s tough stance and investigations against public corruption.

“It would be very sad if they were purposely excluded because of political retribution,” Sen. Jesse Lujan said. “The OAG as well as the OPA need guaranteed and independent funding that is beyond the scope of the day to day political ‘tit for tat’ that sometimes takes place in our government.”

Sen. Joe San Agustin

“The exclusion of the OAG to the bill is not a punishment for the new Attorney General and his beliefs,” Mr. San Agustin replied. “The government is a collaboration of the different agencies and departments to work together to provide services to our people. All government agencies/ departments are welcome to my office and may send me an email for any assistance that we may provide.  We cannot be blamed for the fact that we were not informed nor approached for assistance from agencies/departments who did not ask but rather had the assumption that assistance would be provided.”

Mr. San Agustin said his office ensured all government agencies under the executive branch were included in the appropriation, though no such list exists in the actual public law. Kandit inquired further, asking why the OAG was excluded, when it clearly is a line agency under the executive branch.

“The agencies that were not included in the 22 [percent] GPP appropriation bill was (sic) added because our office received testimonies of their support and request for inclusion thereafter, our office diligently amended the bill to reflect those agencies/departments,” the senator replied

Kandit then asked for the stamp-received letters and emails of agency heads to the budget committee, where those testimonies allegedly were made making a request for inclusion in the appropriation. Mr. San Agustin’s office sent over two documents, containing a total of more than 300 pages. We reviewed the files.

Not a single line agency director, who testified in writing made any request for inclusion in the appropriations act. Moreover, not every single line agency provided written testimony in support of the bill. But, every single line agency except the OAG was included in the pay raise.


Documents and testimony tell a different story

A February 3, 2023 fiscal note from the Bureau of Budget and Management Research, signed by budget director Lester Carlson, Jr. certifies “Yes” under the fiscal note form question, “Is amount appropriated adequate to fund the intent of the appropriation?” Also marked “Yes” is the form question “Was Fiscal Note coordinated with the affected dept/agency?”

The affected agency is the Department of Administration, because DOA handles the payroll and human resources processing of the line agencies. The Department of Law (Office of the Attorney General of Guam) is a line agency.

In fact, the director of the Department of Administration testified under oath about the inclusion of the employees under the line agencies and what are known as component units in the government.

Ed Birn

“There are 11,000 employees in government service in different agencies, including component units,” director of administration Ed Birn testified during the public hearing on the 22 percent pay raise appropriations bill. “About 3,500 employees are covered by the estimated annual cost of 42 million, including federally funded employees that are quoted in the study.”

The “study” he referred to is the Hay Study, which was promulgated a decade ago. That Hay Study includes the 131 employees at the attorney general’s office under the general pay plan.

In fact, Mr. Birn argued for the increased appropriation by testifying about the need to cover every single agency that has employees under the general pay plan. That includes the Office of the Attorney General of Guam.

“I will repeat,” Mr. Birn emphasized, “our employees are our greatest asset. We cannot provide the services which the people need without them. Some senators expressed concerns about the inability of those agencies, of which they have oversight to recruit and retain personnel. It is those in these agencies who are covered by the general pay plan, who manage recruitment, pay procurement, and providing every kind of support so that their front liners can do their job. General pay plan, employees pay the bill, issue the assessments, manage their budgets, ensure that facilities are clean and maintained, that we comply with legal mandates and keep government functioning. They should not be forgotten.”


Senators support appropriation for OAG

Mr. San Agustin is not alone in support for correction of the OAG’s exclusion.

Sen. Jesse Lujan

“I would absolutely support legislation to provide the necessary funding for the 131 GPP members of the Office of the Attorney General,” Sen. Lujan wrote. “They should have been included along with all other Government of Guam employees when the initial pay raise was implemented. The funding should be retroactive. The employees of the Attorney General’s office are vital and important to the government and people of Guam.”

“I have always been a proponent for salary parity across the government, as evidenced by my introduction of Bill 33-37, a measure which the AG testified against,” Sen. Roy Quinata said. “However, if there is a disparity in salaries among employees in the GPP, I would support measures to correct it. I look forward to hearing from the AG about the proposed method and amount to achieve this at their budget hearing next Friday.”
According to the legislative calendar, the budget hearing for the OAG is not until Friday, July 14, 2023.


  • I guess DOA like it’s boss and the boss of its boss, are petty, mean spirited morons who think they are gonna assuage the bear, by sticking a stick in it’s eye.
    Obviously these “intellectuals” have little to no knowledge about bears.

    Has any of these geniuses heard of the old adage?….. ” you catch more flies with honey, than with vinagre”

  • Frank Perez

      07/10/2023 at 4:42 AM

    It is quite simple really. The AG’s office is committed to exposing snd prosecuting corrupt individuals within our government and within any of the three branches of our government. But there is a fourth branch called the “swamp” and its “deep state bureaucratic operatives!” The attack on the AG’s office is only beginning.

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