Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority successfully completes USDOT State Management Review Audit

On May 2, 2022, Special Assistant for Public Transportation Alfreda Camacho Maratita received an official notice from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT): Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Region IX Administrator Ray Tellis thanking the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority (COTA) for successfully completing the required State Management Review audit.  

During the periods between March – July 2021, The USDOT: FTA conducted a comprehensive review audit of the CNMI’s transit agency.  The FTA’s State Management Review (SMR) is a comprehensive oversight review of grantees designed to assess management practices and program implementation to ensure that the programs are administered in accordance with all federal transit law provisions, FTA requirements, and are meeting program objectives. 

Specifically, the USDOT: FTA inspected the following areas: Transit Asset Management, Procurement, Drug and Alcohol Program, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan, Maintenance, Satisfactory Continuing Control, Legal, Financial Management and Capacity, Technical Capacity -Awards Management, Program Management, Project Management, Title VI, ADA, and the following specific Federal Section Requirements: 5307, 5310, and 5311. 

“The successful completion of this State Management Review audit is a true reflection of the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority’s continuing commitment to sound program management, financial capabilities, and technical capacity.  It also reflects our commitment as FTA grantee recipients for the CNMI that we are responsible for administering millions of federal funds to which has gone into the creation and the expansion of surface transportation for the betterment of our beloved Commonwealth,” said Special Assistant Camacho Maratita. 

“I join the U.S. Department of Transportation in thanking Special Assistant Alfreda Camacho Maratita and the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority – everyone from the bus drivers to the office staff – for adhering to the federal transit requirements upon their successful completion of the State Management Review audit, and I commend them for their hard work in continuing to provide, ensure, and expand reliable, safe, and comfortable public transportation throughout the Marianas,” said Governor Ralph DLG. Torres. 

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CNMI Office of the Governor

Office of the Governor Response to Dismissal of Lawsuit Filed Against the House Judiciary & Government Operations Committee

Yesterday, the Superior Court held that the Office of the Governor could not proceed with its case against the House Judiciary and Government Operations Committee. Although the Administration respects the decision of the Judge, we believe the decision is erroneous by ignoring and misinterpreting law and precedent. For example, in its rush to follow federal precedent, it skipped right over the plain text of the Commonwealth Constitution. Then it overlooked some of the most important protections found even in the federal cases — such as the rule that the legislature may subpoena the executive only when the information it needs is not reasonably available anywhere else. The decision will be appealed. It will be for the Supreme Court to ultimately decide the merits of this civil case.

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