University Of Guam Finances In Peril Over $21M Allotment Shortfall

1 Month left in fiscal year, no assurance from Calvo administration that money will be available for remaining paydays 

By Haidee V Eugenio

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, August 28, 2016) – University of Guam payroll and financial aid to students are now at risk because of the Calvo administration’s failure to remit a record $21 million, which is more than half of what the educational institution is supposed to receive for the fiscal year that is ending next month.

Jonas D. Macapinlac, the university director for integrated marketing communications, confirmed Thursday that the institution “is now $21 million behind in its cash allotment from GovGuam.”

“To date, UOG has received only $18.7 million or 47 percent of its total budget in FY 2016 with just one month left in the fiscal year,” Macapinlac told Pacific Daily News.

This means the university has yet to get 53 percent of its $39.7 million budget that the Legislature and Gov. Eddie Calvo approved for 2016. The fiscal year is ending on Sept. 30.

While the university has met this week’s payroll, there is no assurance that money will be available for paydays before the end of the current fiscal year.

“UOG established financial controls to sustain operations, but the delay of payments is straining the University and affecting daily operations, including meeting payroll and UOG’s ability to distribute local financial aid to its students,” Macapinlac said.

The University’s Fall 2016 semester began on Aug. 17, and the institution expects nearly 4,000 students to be enrolled.

Macapinlac said the last payment UOG received was in early August, for the amount of $500,000.

He said university officials have met several times with the Department of Administration, “but payment plans have not been followed.”

The Department of Administration has yet to respond to a request for comment as of press time.

Sen. Nerissa B. Underwood, chairwoman of the Legislature’s Committee on Public Education, said Thursday this is “quite disappointing because it puts student programs and services at risk.”

“They are unable to hire anybody with this much of their allotment withheld,” Underwood said when sought for comment. “I am appealing once again to the Governor to make UOG, (Guam Community College) and (Department of Education) a priority and release the cash that they need to educate our youth and developing professionals.”

Back in July, UOG Vice President for Administration and Finance Randy Wiegand said the university is $13.8 million behind in cash allotments. In just a month, this grew to $21 million.

The $21 million is considered the largest amount of delayed disbursement in recent years, as far as the university is concerned.

As of July 11, the Guam Department of Education said the allotment shortfall for them was $27 million. For the Guam Community College at the time, the allotment shortfall was $8.4 million.

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2016 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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