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Feb 12, 2008

Upgrade One Step at a Time

Finally, there's a news about an update and upgrade of the CNMI Labor computer systems. On the paper today, this photo shows how happy the local officials to inform the public about this upgrade on its ID system. I know this may be pushing it, but the department indeed needs more upgrade more than its ID system.

A source said the department has no way of looking up records of workers electronically that officials would ask them to go from window to window just to verify one document that can be done in one window.

I know that they are doing their best to serve the people better.

The Reveler


Marianas Pride said...

Welcome to the 21st Century DOL! This is long overdue!

bradinthesand said...

cnmi windows sounds more confusing that microsoft's version...

Now_it's_the_other_knee said...

New hardware and software is great, but the primary component of any information system is its human-ware. Has Labor upgraded their operators and administrators such that the full potential of the new system can be realized?

It's a concern that at least one of the persons grinning widely in the background is known to possess advanced cyber threat skills and resources.

Anonymous said...

Of course, they won't give credit to the entity that provided the grant that paid for it all: the Department of Interior's Office of Insular Affairs.

Buffalo Hunter said...

Why should they? Interior is an officious intermeddler, all too eager to pat itself on the back for serving as a conduit for grants that should rightly come directly from the federal agencies concerned. In this case DHS.

Usually Interior simply messes things up, like when they took away half a million dollars from the CNMI Labor and Immigration initiative under the Ombudsperson's scheme to control hiring and firing, and so they could try to spend the money on lobbying by Guma Esperanza, hiring lawyers to collect judgments from former employers lacking assets, or other empire-building.

Also, Rev, LIIDS is not just an ID system. It is the foundation of a world-class immigration system of the sort President Bush envisioned for the United States but was unable to get through Congress. The CNMI is leading the country in immigration reform (with some long-ago help from Australia), despite the active opposition by our "overseers" at Interior.

rev said...

i stand-corrected.

Anonymous said...

Buffalo hunter is full of buffalo shit!

First, DHS has nothing to do with the CNMI until the Fed bill passes; it wasn't even an agency when the Ombudsman's office was created.

Second, you don't know the history of the initiative, buffalo breath. The money went to federal agencies to beef up federal and local enforcement efforts, and had only the most minimal oversight of hiring and firing, as evidenced by the fact that Ben Seman was hired (and fired) twice, even though it took him more than four years to issue opinions in his labor cases.

Third, Interior does not fund any lobbying by Guma or anyone else. That foolishness is strictly the purview of the Fitial government, who pays crackpot letter writers who have never been to the CNMI $50,000 a year to talk trash about Babauta, $15,000 A MONTH to idiots like Biden, who couldn't even get the gov in to see key legislators when he was in D.C., and $100,000 plus in per diem ("volunteers"), who write law and interpret it like two people who recently graduated from an ESL class.

And yes, the CNMI is leading immigration for the rest of the nation--the governor signs governor's exemptions for human trafficking victims who pay thousands to come here for non-existent jobs; attends the weddings of his nieces as they engage in obviously sham marraiges in violation of CNMI and federal law; and exempts his Chinese masters from all laws concerning the treatment of workers and those seeking asylum.

KAP said...

A paperless system? I shudder to think. I came up with lots of potential problems immediately, starting with the computer is down because...

Then there's accountability. Who actually approved various items, and how do you prove it?

You're tagged btw. Blame it on Angelo, everyone else does. I'm just channeling.

Anonymous said...

Wow, buffalo hunter just got slammied!

Buffalo Rider said...

The comment three posts up isn't worth the electrons it's imaged with. (BTW, Ken, there are back-ups for computer accountability, just like online banking.)

The buffalo is the beast in the middle of the Interior emblem, so if anyone is full of it, look in the mirror. Moo!

1) There is no reason DHS (INS before March 2003) grants have to funnel through Interior, except for empire-building, graft, Hatch Act violations, and promoting an unearned sense of self-importance unavailable from purchasing large American pickup trucks. Yes, DHS does apply to the CNMI with respect to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, and is the lead agency for immigration technical advice nationwide. NOT Interior!

Until Interior and its Ombudsperson started sticking their nose up Allen Stayman's orifice, INS used to station an agent here (Oscar Martinez, Mel Grey) and cooperate with the CNMI.

2) While casting your opprobrium on Fitial, it was under Babauta when Seman served as hearing officer. Just like AG Pamela S. Brown (former Ombudsperson) and her deputy Clyde Lemons went on Interior-grant boondoggles to Nice, France for U.N. asylum protection training, and bonding with Cohen in D.C. It's obvious Interior was hand-in-glove (or probe-in-socket) with the Babauta Administration, and now is seeking political vengeance and payback in the worst sort of Stayman-inspired vindictiveness and self-rightous, end-justifies-the-means hatred.

For Interior to control hiring and firing of the CNMI government is petty, self-aggrandizing, mean-spirited, unjustified, and unprecedented in any other state or territory of the Union.

3) As for Interior using federal funds for lobbying, the facts will speak for themselves (though the local press and letter writers have been known to be incorrect more than occasionally). As for the CNMI's lobbyists, since Interior engages in the most blatant legislation-by-ambush (an Ombudsperson's tactic displaying a win-at-all-costs mentality), sharing drafts of legislation with its partisan and grant-funded allies but withholding them from the CNMI's elected leaders, the Interior blowhards leave Fitial little alternative.

4) As for law enforcement, again Interior has royally screwed up. These are federal offenses, but Interior's self-satisfied Ombudsperson has neglected to tell his superiors that more federal prosecutors and agents were needed -- probably because his nose was too deeply inserted into Cohen's rear end to get the word out. Or maybe the Ombudsperson would prefer to see federal law go unenforced, so he can use "Saipan's problems" as a slimy tool to justify the abuse of the indigenous people of the Commonwealth through federalization, whence he can "ride to the rescue" as Interior's new highly-paid Director of Federalized CNMI Immigration, doling out plums to favored attorneys and businesses who have been "properly probed."

James said...

Both Buffalo Hunter/Rider and Anon need to get their medication balanced.

James said...

Since a lot of that previous post by Buffalo hunter seems directed at me and my agency, I will respond to the factual errors.

1. There are no "DHS grants." They are Interior grants. They are part of a program that has been in existence for more than 10 years, under which the CNMI has funded most of its Department of Labor and Division of Immigration lawyers, and several of DOL's hearing officers. If the CNMI wants to ask DHS for money, it can do so.

2. I don't know what to make of this. Yes, the Hearing Officer in question was employed, in part, during the Babauta Administration, but also in several before that. I don't know what that has to do with anything. The point, as I gather from the previous post, was that DOI obviously doesn't care who the CNMI DOL hired, so it obviously did not control hiring and firing, as alleged.

I assume that when BH refers to OIA's efforts to "control hiring and firing," he or she means our more recent efforts to ensure accountability for Federal funds. We asked only that the CNMI provide us a resume to show the person they hired was qualified to do the work. Surely that's not an unreasonable request from the agency that provides the funds, is it? What's unprecedented is not that DOI would get to set conditions on the funds, but that those funds would be used for salaried positions at all, since no other territory gets money to fund such positions. This is a special deal that was given to the CNMI, because of the scope of the problems identified.

3. As to Interior "lobbying," DOI is part of the Bush Administration, which supports Federalization. It is not "lobbying" to support legislation your own Administration supports. It is the duty of all executive branch personnel. And as the Federal Agency that has responsibility for various matters in the territories, if DOI officials think Federalization will improve the economy and standard of living of the people of the CNMI (and we do), then it is our duty to say so, and to try to bring that about. This will ultimately prove to benefit indigenous people in the CNMI more than anyone, since they and other U.S. citizens will be first in line for good Federal jobs with Federal benefits, and the many jobs that will be created when the resuscitated private sector starts paying people a practical wage, instead of "outsourcing" virtually all private sector jobs to off-island workers for the enrichment of the privileged few.

The Ombudsman is mandated to report to the U.S. Congress on the state of the labor, immigration and law enforcement issues in the CNMI. It is not "lobbying" to report to Congress the progress the CNMI had made in addressing those issues, and that Labor and Immigration problems still exist in the Commonwealth; it is the truth, and it is the Ombudsman's duty, as mandated by the Congress.

It is not "legislating by ambush" to share drafts of legislation with the Senate Committee that asked us to draft the legislation in the first place;, nor was it our call to give or not to give it to the CNMI prior to the finished product having been submitted to the Senate Committee. We performed what is called a "drafting service," and we acted as the Senate Committee's draftsmen and were accountable to them. In any case, the CNMI got a copy of the bill before it was introduced, and got summaries which we provided even before we gave the Senate the finished version. And we implored them to come to the table and discuss what they wanted in the legislation long before the drafting service was even requested. They refused.

4. I have reported many, many times that we need to enhance our enforcement efforts in the CNMI, to give more support to both the local government and the Federal agencies so tasked.

As to the rest of the ranting and raving, why don't you reveal your identity, so you can answer for your insults, coward?

Jim Benedetto

Buffalo Breath said...

So I lose some of my customers? So the feds can waterboard me in Guantanamo? Are you high?

Hyperbole has its uses, but I do sincerely thank you for your explanations. There is no doubt you believe in the righteousness of your cause, Economics 101 notwithstanding.

rev said...

Buffalo Breath = BB

hmmm...does this mean something?

now_it's_the_other_knee said...

Having WAY too much experience with CNMI government database operations, I can attest that Kap's concerns above are legitimate. All too often computer hardware and software is procured and implemented with no consideration for data quality or security. Operator and administrator training and certification is usually beyond system planners' powers of conception. LIIDS has long been a five star example of this, but is only typical of CNMI government information systems. It's impossible to obtain accurate, complete conviction or probation data from the Superior Court's massively expensive system or incarceration data out of the prison's. The same applies to CUC, CHC, CPA, DPW and other agencies. But lack of operational and support funding often renders expensive systems ineffective before data quality issues even come into play. If data quality and funding issues don't do the trick, CUC will- DPS has lost in excess of $10k worth of hardware to CUC spikes, surges, frequency shifts, sags, outages and spectacular transformer explosions during the past six months alone.

Ron Hodges said...

Hey Buffalo,

Contrary to media notions, I am not qualified to teach English here at MHS, so perhaps you can help me clean up this rough draft of Chamberonomics 34.



Chamberonomics XXXIV...bitter times ahead!

A survey of my MHS students taken Friday, February 15, 2008 showed that one half of my 16-17 year old students did not have one dollar in their pocket.

The US federal government may pass out $30 to $50 million dollars to residents of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota according to the $152 billion Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 signed by President Bush. We have concerns before they would actually hand $50 million to our current administration. The money goes (or should go) to every resident of the CNMI, including children, guest workers, and their children, passed out in increments between $300 and $600 dollars each. A family of four could expect $1800. The CNMI has a problem before we qualify. The problem is that the money must be paid by the CNMI and reimbursed by Uncle Sam.

Simply put, the mismanaged NMI does not have the money to get the other money! Our local government can’t provide basic services to the residents here. Our local residents suffer from the nation’s poorest water quality, exorbitant power costs, grossly under funded educational institutions, disgraceful housing availabilities for US citizens and guest workers alike, inadequate funding for CHC, and government instability that has put potential investors on permanent hold, all one would expect from weak governance with little accountability.

Big business has not reinvested billions of textile industry profits back into the CNMI and have moved that money to Hong Kong and other foreign locations. Our current administration is tied to the garment magnates from the top down. Our weak administration still aims to execute PL-15-108, despite the diverse throng of residents who marched against the horrifically unjust law, which is reminiscent of Black Codes that followed the US Civil War.

Who could imagine the United States of America handing fifty million dollars to an administration so closely tied to organized crime and with such a history of human rights atrocities? This administration has high dollar mainland lawyers from DC trying to block US intervention and assistance with of our labor and immigration involving lobbyists, propaganda schemes, threats, scare tactics, and all to protect their business interests to the determent of the local citizens here. This should come as no surprise given our involvement with federal prisoner Jack Abramoff. Should not the people here be represented as well? CNMI attorneys have a history of conflicts here but common sence would show they are afraid to stand against big business control here.

This administration recently paid NMI funds to study the impact of federalization of the CNMI. The resultsdid not show what this administration had hoped for and they have not shared the news with the general public…the news is that the CNMI would greatly benefit from federalization.

Congressional staffers and US military advisors in DC reported this week that the adversarial government in the NMI has recently been deleted from Guam military build-up plans until further notice due to lack of cooperation from our big business controlled administration, and simply put, the US Marine base in Tinian has been cancelled!

The current administration is actively lobbying to block the minimum wage increase here, an economic move that would doom a generation of Chamorro and Carolinian graduates to exodus or poverty. Our long befuddled legislature has not taken an official position on administration business associates lobby effort to block the minimum wage law.

I would ask the US to withhold Economic Stimulus Act funds until the US can properly administer and account for the people's money. Further, should the money miraculously become available, I would ask guest workers here to remit their funds to their country of natural origin as an act of UNITY in the commonwealth and in defiance of our weak leadership until PL-15-108 is scrapped. I also ask the US to have FEMA takeover and administer our power, water, hospital, and public schools.

The United States must assure these essential services are available to citizens of our commonwealth and our local government has no financial plan to address these conditions in the near foreseeable future.

Ron Hodges
Puerto Rico, Saipan

now_it's_the_other_knee said...

Oh... forgot- DHS is planning to implement systems that, while not directly operated or managed by Labor, will be thoroughly integrated via their border security, Real ID and terrorism prevention data systems. Funding is tapped and implementation should commence mid-2009. Everybody hope and pray that data integrity is a large part of those projects' planning.

Anonymous said...


detriment, not determent

common sense, not common sence

Buffalo Boy said...

No spelling or grammatical edits from me.

As to the rest of it, some of the "logic" is beyond my ken.


The CNMI has great need for qualified information technology professionals, doesn't it?

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