Gov has no intention of asking for supplement for LBJ
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has openly declined the Hospital’s move for a supplemental budget of $7.5 million, which Joseph Davis Fleming told Samoa News he intends to submit at the end of December. The governor, during the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, held up a copy of the Samoa News paper and said: “We don't have any supplement request in mind."
"If you miss the bus on the first run, there will not be a second run... I am not going to go back to the Fono and tell the Fono this is what we need,” said Governor Lolo.
He was referring to the front-page article on Tuesday's paper titled “LBJ CEO will submit revised supplemental budget to address "critical needs”.
In the article, Fleming said the supplemental budget is needed to carry out its mandates, and purchase a computerized system to replace filing records and to hire needed experts in the Human Resources area, given the many problems faced by this department in the hospital.
The LBJ CEO also commented on his disappointment on how the budget is handled within the government. He said that with budgets that he’s worked on previously, he's usually given six months — however to his surprise — he was only given two weeks for the LBJ budget.
"The revenue streams are only half of the budget, and it's the cost side we have missed over the years; because there’s a lot of those, it explains why we have a deficit — those costs were not captured and were not included in the budget."
Fleming said the supplemental budget is not just for staffing but, for other critical needs in the hospital. He said the supplemental should be ready by December.
The supplemental budget was initially $5.2 million however he noted there have been a lot of "after the fact" issues, and that's why the supplemental will be more than the initial amount.
Governor Lolo said to Fleming, “You as the director should have sat down in the beginning and made sure your needs were there.”
He further told Fleming to work with the hospital board on these issues, saying also to the Authorities or the Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies they must work closely with their Boards of Directors on issues within their budget.
Lolo then told his cabinet members that with every cabinet meeting he has emphasized the importance of each Director knowing his or her budget ”and this is the right time to do it”.
He further stated that they have been working closely with departments who experienced major overruns at the close of fiscal year 2013. Lolo acknowledged successful sessions that his office had with Port Director Claire Tuia Poumele and her staff as they went over their budget, which was overrun.
“As I said — the only excuse we had was last year, because we didn't start the budget — but we did a good job as far as closing the budget. However, come 2014, I expect every department to run a budget in the black, or a balanced budget. I know it's difficult to do that, but your duty as a Director and Cabinet member, is that you make sure you will not violate any budget laws.”
The governor urged that any Department that overran their 2013 budget make time to sit down with the directors of Budget, Treasury, Procurement and Human Resources, who are willing to help and give tips on how to do a better job in terms of compliance with budget laws.
“We have no reason for violating the law when we have our first budget on hand right now. Please make every effort to work with us and try to keep us out of the red, but at the same time we provide the services that we intend to provide for our people.
Lolo also issued a stern warning to the Directors to be cautious with what they say to the media, in terms of misinforming the public — saying the media “are really good at getting you to talk” but at the same time the governor reminded his cabinet members that their administration has an open policy with the media and that each director is able to speak on behalf of his or her Department.