Blas to Leon Guerrero: Don’t blame me for your ineptitude

Sen. Frank Blas, Jr. said the governor needs to do her job if she wants all GovGuam employees on the General Pay Plan to get their 22 percent pay raise.

The administration, on April 28, reportedly paid out the pay raises to GPP employees of the line agencies, which are the departments directly under the governor’s control. The Guam Department of Education did not. Acting superintendent of education Dr. Judith Won Pat informed her employees via letter GDOE had not received its allotment from the Bureau of Budget and Management Research in order to make the payments.

Dr. Won Pat also made reference to the law appropriating the money for the pay raises, contingent on the governor submitting to senators plans for the payments of outstanding merit bonuses and increments, and for relief grants for small businesses.

The governor has yet to send those plans to the legislature, making the appropriation for the raises dormant.

Kandit has asked governor’s director of communications Krystal Paco-San Agustin whether allotments were released for line agency pay raises because those line agencies had existing budgetary room to do so under the original Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations.

The governor’s office Tuesday issued a news release critical of Mr. Blas’s amendment to the pay raise bill that required the governor to submit the plans prior to implementing the raises.

“Unfortunately, these restrictions have mired the process in more unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, ultimately hurting the good, hard-working people at DOE,” the governor’s office news release states.

“It takes less than a day to come up with these simple plans,” Mr. Blas shot back. “Don’t blame me for your ineptitude.”

The governor’s office recognizes the need to follow the law in its news release, stating: “Despite this mandate for more bureaucracy, the Department of Administration (DOA) is working diligently to submit the plans required by Section 10 of the public law, which will permit allotted funds to be transferred to GDOE so it can make the necessary payments. These plans will be submitted shortly as we work with GDOE on implementing their new pay scales.”

“You’ve had 30 days since you were supposed to implement it, and you still haven’t done it?” Mr. Blas asked rhetorically of the governor. “And if it’s just GDOE, how did she provide the allotments to the other agencies, so they could begin their pay raises?”

Meanwhile, Adelup employees and cabinet members have been enjoying five-digit pay raises since January.

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