Saturday, October 16, 2010

Completely Unrelated

The government of the Northern Marianas was closed for business for the first week of October. The legislature failed to pass and the governor failed to sign a balanced budget and about 20% of government employees were told to stay at home.

Fortunately the shutdown only lasted ten days.  The legislature eventually passed a budget, which the governor quickly signed into law. The next week, the lieutenant governor commented on the savings the government shutdown realized. According to the Saipan Tribune, "Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos said yesterday that the partial shutdown from Oct. 1 to 10 saved the government an estimated $650,000 to $750,000 in personnel costs."

On the very same day, the former Secretary of Commerce, who had resigned from his position three days prior, signed a sole-source contract with the CNMI government. Again from the Saipan Tribune, "Former Commerce Secretary Michael J. Ada's private firm bagged on Wednesday a $392,406 sole-source contract from the Fitial administration to remain as the CNMI state lead for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program."

I am convinced that the $392,406 to pay Michael Ada did not come from the $650,000 to $750,000 in savings the government realized from the shutdown.  Nobody would have the gall to take away 10 days of pay from over 1000 people just to pay one guy.

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