Administration may move some employees to federally funded programs

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios are looking into the possibility of transferring some CNMI government employees to federally funded programs or activities so they can be exempted from the austerity measures.

In an interview with Gary Sword on the KKMP early morning radio program on Monday, Torres and Palacios said the CNMI government is facing deeper budget cuts due to cancellations of flights from South Korea in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The governor said every day, he and the lieutenant governor “continue to move forward in maximizing what we have, and thinking outside the box.”

He said the CNMI government is doing what it can to make sure federal programs continue to move forward.

He said he and Palacios have talked with all department heads to identify 100% federally funded programs and services.

The administration, Torres added, is looking at transferring least 200 locally funded CNMI government employees to federal paid offices.

Torres said his administration is now consulting with the federal government.

Palacios said there are locally funded government employees who are doing work that is related to federal programs.

These are the employees that the administration hope can “migrate” to federally funded programs, Palacios added.

Torres said other government employees whose positions are federally funded will be exempted from the austerity measures. “We need those federal programs to continue to move forward,” he added.

In the past, he noted, the government’s austerity measures included federally funded positions.

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