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    Sunday, October 20, 2019-8:07:30A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Bill to make OMB a division of Finance Department

SENATOR Vinnie Sablan on Thursday introduced Senate Bill 21-33 that would make the Office of Management and Budget a division of the Department of Finance.

According to the bill, the OMB director “shall ensure discipline in government programs and activities for consistency with the governor’s policies and budget; improve government efficiency by reducing duplication and overlaps between and among agencies; and assist department activity heads in internal organization and management to achieve maximum effectiveness at minimum cost to the taxpayers.”

From left, Sen. Sixto Igisomar, Senate Vice President Jude Hofschneider, Senate Floor Leader Justo Quitugua, Senate clerk Doris Bermudes, Senate President Victor Hocog, Senate legal counsel Antoinette Villagomez, Sen. Frank Cruz and Sen. Vinnie Sablan in the Senate chamber on Thursday.  Photo by Emmanuel T. EredianoFrom left, Sen. Sixto Igisomar, Senate Vice President Jude Hofschneider, Senate Floor Leader Justo Quitugua, Senate clerk Doris Bermudes, Senate President Victor Hocog, Senate legal counsel Antoinette Villagomez, Sen. Frank Cruz and Sen. Vinnie Sablan in the Senate chamber on Thursday. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

If S.B. 21-33 becomes law, all employees of OMB would be transferred to the Department of Finance’s management and budget division.

“In light of our current financial position, we see the need to streamline the process to become more efficient in the future actions of the Legislature especially during the annual budget process,” Sablan said in an interview.

He said the bill would not eliminate the OMB, but would simply “streamline its operations under the direction of the secretary of Finance instead of having a dual structure.”

He added, “The primary intent of S.B. 21-33 is to provide more consistency in forecasting and managing public funds.”