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    Monday, July 23, 2018-9:36:36A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Grants office secures over $5.6 million in funding for FY17

(Office of the Governor) — Since the enactment of Public Law 19-49 in June 2016 by Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres, the CNMI Office of Grants Management and State Clearinghouse or OGM-SC has seen a significant increase in grant funding awards and utilization.

P.L. 19-49, or the Grants Management Act of 2015, restructures OGM-SC as a single point of contact for grant correspondence and announcements in order to mitigate federal grant compliance issues and improve oversight and grants training throughout the CNMI government.

Governor Torres stated that formalizing and revising the standards for grants management has drastically improved the fulfillment of grant awards and projects.

“Within such a short time, the restructuring of the OGM has successfully secured over $5 million in federal funding. With our grants team, we now have a greater outlook for future funding awards. In the past, performance goals and utilization of grants were not met, but this policy has initiated long-term sustainability for the CNMI government’s vital program and services. At the same time, we continue to look at best practices as well as allowable expenditures to supplement our budget as we move forward in availing funding opportunities. I am pleased by the ongoing progress of our grants team, as well as the continued foresight of our grants administrator,” Governor Torres said.

According to OGM-SC Administrator Epiphanio E. Cabrera Jr., several grants have been secured through the Technical Assistance Program, Maintenance Assistance Program and the Empowering Insular Communities Program under the U.S. Department of the Interior-Office of Insular Affairs, the Community Facilities Grant Program and the Rural Business Development Grant under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Community Development Block Grant under the Northern Marianas Housing Corporation and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Under the leadership of Governor Torres, we’ve been able to secure more grant funding for the benefit of our community. This is just a portion of the anticipated awards from federal agencies and other grant programs we expect to see in the year ahead. I thank our local agencies, federal partners, and the grants team for taking advantage of grant opportunities that enhance our infrastructure and supplement our local funding. There is more work ahead of us, but we are pleased to have been able to strengthen our local policies to improve the working relationships with our grantors and increase the outlook of our future endeavors,” Cabrera said.

He said the over $5.6 million in grants went towards the waste incinerator refurbishment for the Commonwealth Ports Authority, the Department of Public Safety Patrol Fleet, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation Saipan Groundwater Study, the Department of Public Works Roll-Off Truck for the Lower Base Transfer Station, the CNMI Ma’afala Breadfruit Farming Program Initiative, the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners Program, the Solid Waste Management Feasibility Study, the Kagman Farm Plot Water Distribution Upgrade, the CNMI Fire & Emergency Medical Services Apparatus, the Landfill Gas Extraction Feasibility Study, the Technology Enhancement Program, the Rota Slaughterhouse Feasibility Study, the CNMI Veterans Cemetery Expansion, the Koblerville Youth Learning Center Expansion Project, and the Coconut Rhino Beetle Detection and Eradication on Rota.

Cabrera also noted that OGM-SC has also extended its sub-granting authority to assist several government departments such as the Department of Commerce, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation.

“At the request of Governor Torres and Lt. Governor Hocog, these benefits have all been extended to Tinian and Rota for the betterment of the entire commonwealth. There is still so much growth ahead and potential to improve our office. In addition to grant writing, we continue to assist with compliance and review. We acknowledge that there are still more granting opportunities we want to avail from as we build our capacity. Looking towards the future, there will be a lot of progress and work to be done,” Cabrera said.