MPLT Says ARPA Sub-Recipient Grant Program Will Help Companies Hardest Hit by Pandemic | News
The Marianas Public Land Trust hopes lawmakers will pass Rep. Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero’s Joint Resolution 22-13, which seeks to authorize MPLT to receive and administer $15 million as a Coronavirus State and Local subrecipient US Bailout Act Fiscal Recovery Fund.
Within the CNMI, the recipient of the State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Stimulus Fund is the Governor’s Office, which has the authority to make grants to sub-recipients such as the MPLT.
As a sub-recipient, MPLT has declared that it will be responsible to the recipient for compliance with applicable laws, terms and conditions of the award, US Treasury final rule, and reporting requirements.
These compliance measures include, but are not limited to: ensuring programs or projects are for eligible purposes, maintaining compliance documentation, maintaining accountability for the use of funds, and completing required quarterly and annual reports. to the beneficiary, MPLT said.
“It is the intention of [Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund]…to respond to the Covid-19 public health emergency by assisting the community suffering from the negative effects of the emergency due to the shutdown of the economy. As a result, businesses lost revenue and many had to close,” MPLT added.
“CNMI depends on the tourism, transport and hospitality industries. These industries have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Hotels and restaurants as well as the local transport hub have been forced to curtail operations and reduce employment. It is in this area of the economy that MPLT will focus on providing financial assistance through a loan/grant scheme,” MPLT said.
The MPLT said it will focus its financial aid “on small businesses; tourism, travel and hospitality and other affected industries eligible for the program…”.
The MPLT plans to begin administration of its allocation from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund for the Coronavirus upon receipt of the decision and pending receipt of legislative authority.
Once these initial requirements are met, MPLT said it will begin with the following tasks:
• Establish an accounting system using Sage to separately record the receipt of grant funds, expenditures and generate data for reporting, including the preparation of financial reports.
• Prepare, review and assist candidates to meet compliance requirements.
• Design an application or proposal format to be submitted by the potential applicant.
• Announce expense categories for financial aid.
• Prepare determination analyzes to document the approval/denial of the request.
• Prepare notification decision letters.
• Confer with the Ministry of Finance during the decision phase to ensure that the process and decision meets recipient expectations and compliance.
• Consult and follow up with recipients for their quarterly and annual reporting requirements.
• Prepare all reporting requirements to the Department of Finance to meet the submission deadline required by the US Treasury.
In a meeting with the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday, MPLT Chair Maria Frica T. Pangelinan said there had been no official award from the governor’s office.
Additionally, “the committee may have questions that we won’t be able to answer until the resolution is approved.”
MPLT Vice President Vianney Hocog assured lawmakers that “we have no ulterior motives. We just felt it was an opportunity for us to participate.
Saying there are “too many unanswered questions,” the committee tabled the House resolution.