22 Jul 2010

Audit in CNMI shows financial crisis has worsened

10:19 am on 22 July 2010

An independent audit has confirmed the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas financial crisis has worsened.

The government's unreserved fund deficit Fiscal Year 2009 was 300-point-8 million US dollars up from the 256-point-3 million in the previous fiscal year.

The Saipan Tribune reports the increase comes despite unsuccessful attempts by the government to curb expenses through legislation.

This rise marks a 17-point-4 percent or 44-point-5 million increase in just one year as expenses continued to exceed revenue collection.

These figures are contained in a Deloitte & Touche LLC independent auditors' report on the CNMI government's financial statements for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009.

The June 2010 report was obtained by the Saipan Tribune newspaper.

The finance Secretary Robert Schrack says the results indicate the CNMI's financial condition as a whole, continued to decline in the current year.

The CNMI completely lost its garment industry early in 2009, leaving the local economy with just one major industry tourism left, which is also in a state of decline.