OPM director ‘terminated with cause’

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OFFICE of Personnel Management Director Isidro Seman “was terminated with cause” CNMI Civil Service Commission Chairman Ray Muna said.

In an interview on Monday, Muna said the commission made the decision during its meeting on May 27, adding that the termination took effect on June 1.

Seman’s service was terminated due to “poor performance,”  Muna said, adding that  “it was necessary to go in [a] different direction.”

The other Civil Service commissioners are Jake Maratita, Berthilla John, Cathy Tebit, Valerie Apatang and Tee Abraham.

Frances Salas  is the OPM acting director.

Seman’s termination came a month after he issued a memorandum to furlough and terminate government employees due to the economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

In his April memo, Seman said the CNMI government must implement “extreme measures” to ensure that the executive branch had sufficient funds to pay its employees. This could not be done with the government's present staffing level, he said.

“With an estimated reduction in FY 2020 budget funding of 48% the government cannot maintain its current number of employees,” he added. "Consequently, it will be necessary to terminate all Excepted Service employees, other than those in federally funded positions or expressly exempted by the Governor, and to furlough sufficient Civil Service employees for a one-year period, to reduce the government's personnel costs by 50%,” he added asking the department heads for the list of employees who “must be terminated or furloughed to effect the required reduction.”

In March, Seman  issued a memo waiving the exempt status of some cabinet members and government employees so they could be eligible to collect overtime pay. The memo was in response to the request of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management chief who asked OPM to waive the exempt status of certain cabinet members and government employees.


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