14 Jul 2003

Government departments in Northern Marianas under threat because of unpaid bills

3:59 pm on 14 July 2003

Nineteen government departments in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will have their utilities disconnected this week if the government does not settle outstanding bills of 18 million US dollars by the end of today.

The Mariana Variety reports that the threat was made by Lorraine Babauta, the Executive Director of the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation.

Ms Babauta says the government has failed to live up to its agreement with the CUC to make a partial payment of 8-hundred thousand dollars last week.

She says both parties agreed that CUC should receive immediate and routine monthly payments and they also agreed to set a schedule for fixed montly regular meetings.

Ms Babauta says new conditions are now in play and that CUC will follow its routine disconnection processes unless the government fronts up with the money at the end of today.