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Federal funds allow some government employees to avoid pay cut

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THE CNMI government is still complying with the austerity measures, but some government employees have returned to the 80-hour work schedule thanks to federal funds.

Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig, in an interview on Tuesday, said government personnel are paid for 64 hours of work per pay period under the current budget. However, if a department or agency can use federal funds for personnel as long as it is allowed by the granting federal agency, [then the 80-hour work schedule is permitted].

Atalig said some local agencies such as Coastal Resources Management have employees funded by  federal grants.

He reiterated that department heads or agency directors must seek permission from the granting federal agencies before locally funded personnel can work for federally funded programs.

Atalig said not everyone can move to federally funded programs because of restrictions.

In the case of the Legislative Bureau, LB Director Tony Sablan requested the lifting of the austerity measure because LB personnel will be very busy in the next three months as lawmakers try to pass the fiscal year 2021 budget before Oct. 1, 2020.

Atalig said, “The executive branch was able to identify funding outside of the general fund to help the Legislative Bureau.”

On Friday, Legislative Bureau employees reported for work following the LB director’s memorandum announcing that the bureau has returned to 80 hours of operation effective July 24, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2020, the end of the current fiscal year.

 

 

 

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