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    Friday, September 20, 2019-2:55:26P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Report: NMI government financial health and performance improved in FY 2018

THE CNMI government’s overall financial health and performance in fiscal year 2018 showed consistent improvement but remains “below satisfactory,” based on a report commissioned by the U.S. Graduate School and funded by the U.S. Office of Insular Affairs.

The report was presented to CNMI lawmakers on Thursday by certified public accountant Frank Crawford and Graduate School Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives or PITI-VITI senior program manager Jason Aubuchon.

According to the Graduate School, since 2002, “PITI-VITI has scored the overall health of the CNMI government on a scale of 1-10, through a ‘Performeter’ analysis. The Performeter is an analytical tool that reviews a government’s financial statements and converts them into useful, understandable measures of financial performance.”

For FY 2018, the report stated, the CNMI scored 3.84 which indicates that the “Commonwealth’s performances are slowly reversing several years of less than satisfactory [financial] health and performance.”

However, the report added, “continued excellent annual performances will still [be] necessary to completely reverse the poor financial positions that the CNMI has found itself in over the past decade.”

Certified public accountant Frank Crawford and Graduate School Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives senior program manager Jason Aubuchon discuss the CNMI’s fiscal year 2018 financial performance in the House chamber on Thursday.  Photo by Emmanuel T. EredianoCertified public accountant Frank Crawford and Graduate School Pacific and Virgin Islands Training Initiatives senior program manager Jason Aubuchon discuss the CNMI’s fiscal year 2018 financial performance in the House chamber on Thursday. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

Crawford told lawmakers that 3.84 is the CNMI’s highest score so far in the past 10 years.

In 2009, the CNMI’s score was 1.84; in 2010, 1.55; in 2011, 1.48; in 2012, 2.67; in 2013, 2.70; in 2014, 2.52; in 2015, 3.58; in 2016, 3.31; and in 2017, 3.47.

Crawford said one way of improving the government’s finances is to “appropriate less than the projected revenue.”

Make sure that when there is new revenue, “the government doesn’t appropriate for new stuff — take care of the old stuff first,” he added.

Also attending the presentation in the House chamber were Finance Secretary David Atalig, Commerce Secretary Mark Rabauliman and the Department of Finance’s financial services manager, Ryan Camacho.

In an interview, Atalig said the presentation should “give us an idea on how to make better decisions to further improve our financial status.”