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Last updateThu, 20 Jun 2019 12am







    Wednesday, June 19, 2019-7:31:12P.M.






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Senate confirmation process for 5 cabinet members begins

THE confirmation process for five of the nine cabinet members re-appointed by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has started, according to Sen. Francisco Q. Cruz, chair of the Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigation.

The committee has scheduled a public hearing for March 21 on the reappointments of Department of Labor Secretary Victoria I. Benavente and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero at the Rota Courthouse.

The public hearing for the reappointments of Department of Lands and Natural Resources Secretary Anthony T. Benavente and Department of Public Works James A. Ada was scheduled for March 22 in the Rota mayor’s office conference room.

The confirmation process for Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Robert Hunter is also ready to begin, but he is still off-island,

“We will schedule a public hearing once he returns,” Cruz said.

Still on the desk of Senate President Victor B. Hocog are the reappointments of Department of Fire & Emergency Medical Services Commissioner Claudio Norita, Department of Corrections Commissioner Vincent Attao, Department of Commerce Secretary Mark Rabauliman and Department of Public Lands Secretary Marianne Concepcion-Teregeyo.

Cruz has said his committee will take no action on a nomination “until a referral by the Senate president to EAGI committee is officially provided in writing.”

Cruz’s committee also adopted new rules requiring a progress report for the governor’s re-appointed officials and a six-month plan of action for new appointees before public hearings on their nominations are conducted.

In an interview on Monday, Cruz said it will be a long process because his committee also requires three public hearings for each re-appointed cabinet member — one each on Saipan, Tinian and Rota. This, he said, will provide the cabinet members opportunity to report directly to the people on all the islands, and discuss their departments’ accomplishments in the past four years.

Through these public hearings, he said members of the public can also participate in the confirmation process.

“I want them to know that we are transparent in what we’re doing on my committee,” Cruz added.