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Sep 26, 2007

DCCA, PSS Tug-o-War

Community is asking for the motive why the Executive Branch is transferring the program from the Public School System to the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs. News is saying that it's all because of the $1.7 million federal grant that the program is operating with to provide training and development to all child care or day care centers in the CNMI. PSS is saying that a federal grant can only be used to the program and local government can't circumvent that law and should comply with federal standards.

59 comments:

glend558 said...

Once again the welfare of the kids take the back seat to government greed!

glend558 said...

How 'bout a link guys? I've got you covered...

The Writers said...

sure. and thanks.

lil_hammerhead said...

Turning childcare completely over to DCCA puts that federal funding under the direct control of an Executive Branch Department. The DCCA Secretary is appointed by the Governor. I would never turn over these federal funds to such control. DCCA can say whatever it wants, if those funds are accessible, they will be tapped. Additionally, the PSS childcare program is already in place, and PSS is in a far greater position to ensure the kids are properly administered to. Licensing should be removed from DCCA and turned over to PSS, removing them completely from any regular child education program.

Bruce A. Bateman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous [#2324] said...

There are millions of dollars in federal funding already under the control of the Executive Branch. As with all federal grants, they are subject to audits by the Office of the Inspector General of the granting agency, and even referrals for federal criminal prosecution, to ensure compliance with grant conditions (such as 15% maximum to overhead, the rest to actual child-care providers). In this case, that agency is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nota bene, NOT the U.S. Department of Education!

The Governor is directly accountable to the people. So, too, is the elected Board of Education. But here in the Commonwealth, boards have tended toward greater cronyism and less accountability, precisely because there is not one single person responsible who can be removed if things go wrong.

Query, is the current PSS supervisor of the program running it properly? Is there any rent money going to a building she herself owns?

Perhaps the Governor has been forced to be proactive because of such a declining economy, but he certainly has demonstrated a greater commitment to rooting out waste, fraud and abuse than the various boards, such as MPLA, CPA, and PSS.

By the way, isn't PSS supposed to focus on education? Why are they diverting resources and effort away from their central mission?

Anonymous said...

While I am not a fan of this administration, there may be a valid reason for transferring this grant from PSS to DCCA.

I am aware that there are several requests for an investigation of this program. Not sure how far that's gone but there are allegations that a few child care providers (receiving monies from the program because they were suppossedly raising children) actually reside in the mainland while the children supposedly being raised were here in the NMI.

I think someone should obtain the list of all those receiving monies from this grant, compare those to the names of people working with finance and federal grants at PSS, and decide for yourselves how well this program is being managed.

If the grant is transferred, we should all continue to be vigilant with how the program is administered. After all, if there is a problem with the program's management, it is the children who will suffer...not the pocketbooks of child care providers.

saipanboonieman said...

well, the governor has never come out and said EXACTLY why he feels the need to transfer a successfully run program in the first place. you ever hear the addage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"?

anonymous #2324, youre throwing out some pretty strong accusations there, i hope you have some evidence to back it up. and how is establishing standards for curriculum and learning and providing the training to reach those standars not keeping with pss' mission?

anonymous (the other one), youre suggesting that there are some at pss and at the childcare program that are engaging in fraud. maybe you can go and collect the information you suggest is there and compare it against the employees you think are responsible for this so we can "decide for ourselves" if there is merit to that claim.

what i am curious about is how the governor can justify doing exactly the opposite of what was recommended by the feds? that is, transferring administration of the program to dcca when the feds recommended the licensing be transferred to pss? why in the world would he do exactly the opposite? (this is where i will refrain from throwing out accusations of impropriety/collusion between the governor and his nephew melvin faisao since there is no evidence of that whatsoever ;-P ) i mean, does the governor have some magical new logic/reasoning that tells him to oppose anything the federal government comes up with? does the federal government really have interest in perpetuating a supposedly ineffectively run program?

im not against fixing an ineffeciently run program for the better. nor am i against everything the governor proposes. but the evidence from the federal government reports and my conversations with the childcare center providers and the administrators at pss contradict what you are both implying. so help me see where you are coming from.

Anonymous said...

one can add to my concern that i do not think melvin can efficiently manage grants such as the child care one. there should be others that can do this well if the transfer is made.

i already have information as to who is getting paid by the grant. some of these are related to people managing finances/programs at pss. thus, i have this tendency to believe that the program can be better managed. i do not allude that fraud is being committed but where there is smoke, there usually is fire. if i can influence benefits to a program, and many of my family benefit from the program, don't you think that maybe there is something there that needs looking into? maybe not if one thinks that pss is godsend to the nmi.

i will not go as far as to say that transferring the program to dcca will eliminate the problems entirely. maybe it could remain at pss if changes are made to improve program administration since the way the program is presently managed leaves a lot to be desired.

my thoughts entirely and i could be mistaken but this is how i see this for now.

Anonymous said...

once again, i am not alluding that there is fraud in the management of the child care program. that will be for others to decide. what i am saying is that the program, as is presently managed, needs major improvement whether it is done at dcca or at pss.

bradinthesand said...

i agree, melvin is a nice guy but probably unable to manage grants. that's not a problem at dcca because look who's running the show there. now that cathy anderson is gone, daisy villagomez-bier will be unable to keep her head above water. if it wasn't painfully obvious to outsiders, cathy kept that show on the road while daisy got the company car.

saipanboonieman said...

ok, so youre not claiming fraud.

but you are claiming that some people who are benefitting from the program are related to some people who are managing the finances/programs at pss? unless im reading that wrong, i dont see why that would be a problem, IF these people are qualified to benefit from the programs. relation to someone in pss shouldnt neccessarily preclude one from eligibility. again, thats IF they are qualified.

maybe you'd care to share where you think the program needs major improvement in? just trying to get another perspective.

and im not trying to be d*ck, but are you implying that you are somehow able to influence the program so your family can benefit? ("if i can influence benefits to a program, and many of my family benefit from the program,...") your family wouldnt otherwise have benefitted without your influence? if that is correct, and if they weren't already eligible to benefit, than i agree with you that that needs to be looked into.

saipanboonieman said...

can i also just pose this question:
why do we even care about this?

i dont have any kids in the childcare program (that i know of anyway), and the move wouldnt affect me personally. but i feel that those who are supposed to benefit, those from a disadvantaged background, need to have more than just a "babysitter" in a childcare center. the more we can do to provide them with a solid foundation for learning, the better the chances that they'll have a successful carreer in school and the more likely they will be better able to contribute to the community. i believe that the current program, by establishing standards for learning, and by providing technical training and professional development to the employees and owners of the centers, is helping to accomplish that "ggggooooooooooooooooolllllll!!!!!" (sorry, had to throw in that soccer reference! :-P )

Anonymous said...

DCCA is top heavy and bloated organization. Ms. Anderson was a bright light there and there are a few more. But DCCA is where most of the 'I need a job' get dumped. You can witness this after every general election. Almost every director and some certain staffs leave and new people are put in. No consistency because the programs not dependent on real professional people. They have poor activities and then you see in the newspapers how successful they were. Where is big truck day, improvements at manamko center, youth programs after school. Our village Community Centers are falling apart, and look what happening at flame tree arts this year. Down down down. A good Public Information Officer does not make your poor programs and bloated bureacracy successful.

rev said...

did you like my caricature of the DCCA secretary? ahihihi.

Anonymous said...

You made her look better than she actually does. So who is the guy on the right? Doesn't look like Borja.

Anonymous said...

here's my take...
1) daisy vb will leave dcca
2) governor fitial (uncle ben) will appoint his nephew as the new secretary
3) and it will finally make sense to us all
can't help it... years on this island and i can't shake the conspiracy theorist in me.

rev said...

u nailed it!

bradinthesand said...

i never saw her name written as "daisy vb." so is shee the one making that good beer at godfather's?

rev said...

(hiccup) nope.

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