31 Jan 2004

Guam's public auditor reports overspending by government

9:32 am on 31 January 2004

The public auditor in Guam has just released a report which shows the government overspent by 108-million US dollars in the 2002 fiscal year.

The fiscal year covers spending decisions by the then governor Carl Gutierrez, who is currently under investigation for allegedly building his home using government funds.

However, auditor Doris Flores Brooks says the current government led by Felix Camacho, also has a lot of work to do.

"We are still a very heavily employed government. We need to build up more in our infrastructure so that the government is no longer the employer of choice. The government is still slow to lay off people. We still have close to 12,000 employees and in the heyday we had 14,000 so we have not made considerable change. The government of Guam continues to live way beyond its means"

Ms Brooks also says the country's retirement fund is owed 37-miilion dollars which means a new crisis is on the horizon unless addressed.