Performance audit of FSM’s Guam Consulate Office shows significant lack of results

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 29, 3016
Pohnpei, FSM—After a performance audit of the FSM Consulate General office in Guam, the FSM Office of the public auditor has concluded that the office did not implement appropriate processes and internal controls over the development of performance measures and targets. In addition, they found that there was no monitoring and reporting of the consulate performance, which meant for missed opportunities to render improved, efficient and effective service and effective service delivery.
The auditors found that the FSM Consular functions and services in protecting and safeguarding FSM citizens in Guam need improvements. Auditors found no performance indicators or targets to guard citizens’ rights, interests and safety.

There were no records or information on file for any assistance rendered on citizens’ arrests and detentions. “Key staff of the Consulate Office was not aware of any assistance proved to arrested or detained citizens,” the audit said. “Visitation by consulate staff was made only when notified by the Department of Justice regarding citizens’ deportation, and such visit was only to arrange deportees’ travels and related travel documents.”
It said that there were not available records and information regarding any consular assistance for citizens’ illness or death.
One of the consular activities provided for in the FSM Annual Budget was to increase the number of students attending the University of Guam and Guam Community College. But there was no record or information on file to measure, monitor and report on the FSM students attending schools on Guam.
Another budgeted activity was for the Consulate Office to increase the number of FSM citizen business owners in the region. The audit found that the consulate office has no record or information on file relating to assisted FSM business owners. It doesn’t even have information on the number of businesses owned by FSM citizens in Guam.
Finding two says that there are no written guidelines or regulations to guide the operations of the consulate. According to the Consul General, a policy and procedure manual was developed in the past but that it is still in its draft form.
Finding three said that there was a lack of checking, monitoring and report of information to effectively evaluate the performance and accomplishments of the consulate office. The audit found that the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs has not been evaluating the performance of the Guam Consulate Office. Further, the Consulate Office has not been submitting an Annual Performance Activity Report either to the FSM Embassy in Washington or to the Department of Foreign Affairs. “According to the Consular General, he was not aware of the reporting requirements except for the financial activity report.
The audit said reporting that was there in terms of outputs was questionable. A certain number of “good citizenship” seminars and workshops were reported for fiscal years 2012 to 2016 but only two seminars were held in 2012 and none from 2013 through 2016.
Monthly Department of Corrections visits were to be conducted in fiscal years 2012 to 2016 but the auditor found that only two visits were made.
324 meetings were targeted for fiscal years 2012 to 2016 but no records of meetings was maintained.
Lastly the auditor found that the Consulate was reimbursing fuel costs to consulate staff for using their own vehicles without proper authorization.
The audit included a one and a half page long spreadsheet listing targets for dozens of activities at the Consulate as compared to the actual result in each of the fiscal years since 2012. The Guam Consulate Office had not met one of the listed targets in any of listed type of services during any of the five fiscal years reviewed.