23 Mar 2007

CNMI government working to restore essential services after budget cut

6:22 pm on 23 March 2007

The Office of Management and Budget for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands says it's working to ensure that essential services are not affected by a proposed 30 million US dollar budget cut.

The Department of Finance projects the government revenue to reach only 163.5 million at the end of the 2007 financial year, where the original budget was set for 193.5 million.

The special assistant for the office of Management and Budget, Antonio Muna, says all government departments at this point have cuts of just under 16 percent.

He says they are now working to restore the essential services to what they were before the budget cut.

"In order to make this possible as we restore the 15.6 per cent cuts in the essential service areas, is that those that are outside of those areas will have to sustain a greater reduction, a forty percent reduction."

Antonio Muna says essential services are being asked to justify their budget needs, and it's possible some support positions in those areas could be made redundant.