Public auditor to audit liberation festivities spending

FLOAT: Yona's the first village parade float that passed the grandstand during the 75th Liberation Day parade on July 21. Norman M. Taruc/The Guam Daily Post

Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz's office will review expenses and incoming cash associated with the Liberation carnival and other Liberation festivities this year.

Cruz’s office is conducting an audit and is asking the Mayors’ Council of Guam to turn over documents to the Guam Office of Public Accountability.

The public auditor has a duty to communicate with officials who may shed light on the documents, Cruz stated.

The public auditor sent a letter Tuesday to Mayors’ Council Executive Director Angel Sablan and Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio, who was the Liberation festivities chairperson, seeking the turnover of documents.

“We formally requested the financial documents for the Guam Island Fair and Liberation Day Carnival to be turned into my office by Wednesday, September 18, 2019. After we receive them, we will conduct an audit of all transactions related to the 75th Guam Liberation festivities,” said Cruz. 

The 75th Liberation Committee spent more than $578,337 on entertainers, caterers, fireworks, flowers, security and more to put on this year’s 75th Liberation Carnival and parade last month.

A preliminary profit-and-loss statement, released last month, showed costs for the festivities reached close to $1 million.

Gambling concessionaires paid $427,804 to operate gambling at the carnival.