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Marianas Variety: Senator wants to exempt NMTI from grant office’s oversight authority (June 10, 2019)

SENATE Floor Leader Justo S. Quitugua has pre-filed a bill that would exempt the Northern Marianas Technical Institute from the Office of Grants Management’s oversight authority.

Senate Bill 21-32 proposes to include NMTI on the list of exempted entities as provided for in the Grants Management Act or Public Law 16-48 as amended by P.L. 19-49.

The government entities currently on the list are Northern Marianas College, the Public School System, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Public Auditor and the Commonwealth Ports Authority.

In an interview, Quitugua said one of the reasons for transforming NMTI into a government entity is to help it qualify for more federal aid programs, grants, loans, contracts, contributions, advances, direct federal development or other federal funds.

As a public corporation, NMTI should be exempted from another government agency’s oversight with regards federal grants, he added.

Quitugua said the grants office was established primarily to oversee federal grant programs within the executive departments and line agencies, and not public corporations or autonomous agencies.

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