4 Jun 2008

CNMI governor suspends Ports Authority board

1:33 pm on 4 June 2008

The Governor of the Northern Marianas says he had no choice but to suspend the board of the Commonwealth Ports Authority so he could address major financial issues facing the agency.

A spokesman for the Governor's office, Charles Reyes, says financial problems, mainly due to the collapse of the garment industry, brought the agency close to defaulting on a 20-million US dollar bond.

The CPA board was suspended when the Governor took over, citing his emergency powers before the entire board resigned.

Mr Reyes says while some say the Governor is using his authority over the CPA issue unnecessarily, action was vital to prevent further damage.

"We were technically already in default. However the trustee Bank of Guam didn't actually technically declare a technical default. However they were about to."

He says the next step is to submit a new list of appointees to the board to the Senate for confirmation, and return the agency to its autonomous status.