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Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2019 12am

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    Thursday, July 18, 2019-9:53:06A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Finance cancels off-island travels

THE Department of Finance has cancelled pre-approved travels of government officials and employees.

In a June 14 memorandum, Finance Secretary David Atalig informed all heads of departments and government activities that “all pre-approved travel outside the Commonwealth using general fund accounts will be cancelled.”

The memo added that travels using federal-grant accounts will have to be paid in advance, and the grantor agency will have to provide an assurance letter that travel costs will be reimbursed immediately.

“Although we encourage professional development for the employees in the workplace, the CNMI’s current financial and economic situation does not allow it,” Atalig said.

He said all preapproved travel authorizations are cancelled immediately and any travel request form should be returned to the requesting department or agency.

The governor’s directive implementing austerity measures due to a significant revenue shortfall remains in effect.

Earlier this month, Finance also implemented stricter rules when making payments to vendors.

In his June 5 memo, Atalig informed department heads that Finance “shall not process any payments [for] contracts and/or purchase orders without the original invoices and approval by the official expenditure authority.”

He added, “Although this has been the policy of the Department of Finance, departments are still requesting for payments to their vendors with incomplete documentation.”

Atalig said departments and agencies are “responsible for insuring that all requests for payment are complete and submitted to the Division of Finance and Accounting for timely processing of vendor payments.”