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Senate Committee Approves New Finance Director

April 8, 2009 — After a quick but pointed discussion about the state of the territory's financial-management system, senators wasted no time Wednesday approving the nomination of Angel E. Dawson Jr. to head the Finance Department.
Voting in favor of the nomination during Wednesday's Rules and Judiciary Committee meeting were Sens. Carlton "Ital" Dowe, Neville James, Patrick Simeon Sprauve, Michael Thurland and Alvin L. Williams. Sen. Usie R. Richards cast the dissenting vote.
Discussing the need for better access to government financial records, senators said they were concerned that the implementation of the new Enterprise Resource Planning System, started in 2006, has yet to be completed. Almost three years and millions of dollars later, government agencies are still having trouble reporting their financial data, senators said, adding that several components of the system are not up and running.
Saying that the first part of the ERP-implementation process was "fraught with problems" due to improper planning, Dawson — a seasoned banker and former Finance employee — explained that the department has since been able to trade in its "firefighting tactics" for careful planning and research. The payroll module is set to go live in a few months, he said.
A fully functioning and "credible" ERP will help the government keep up with its federal single-audit mandates, Dawson said. While the fiscal year 2006 single audit was completed last month, Finance's goal is to have the FY 2007 single audit finished by August and the FY 2008 single audit out by the end of the year.
The most critical thing at this point, Dawson said, is to get the government's financial reporting up to date. In fully implementing the ERP, the government would have made a "substantial step" toward meeting the conditions of the 2002 third-party fiduciary arrangement with the federal government, he said.
"I imagine that when the ERP is fully implemented, we ought to be able to step back, look at what we've done and begin to do some strategic planning about what we want to look like 10 years down the line," Dawson said. "This system, like any other, has a shelf life, and we're going to have to beginning planning for where we want to be 10 years down the line."
Other plans include updating the department's accounting policies and procedures manual, creating a network of Finance employees that could go "out in the field" and help other departments with ERP training, and pushing for the "timely" reconciliation of government bank accounts.
If confirmed, Dawson will take over for Claudette Watson-Anderson, whose nomination to head the Internal Revenue Bureau was approved last month by the Rules Committee. Both nominations are scheduled to come before the full Senate body during a session next week. (See "Panel Backs Governor's Cabinet Shuffle.")
During Wednesday's hearing, senators also approved the nomination of Joyce Wensel-Bailey to the Government Employees Service Commission.
Present during Wednesday's hearing were Dowe, Louis P. Hill, James, Richards, Sprauve, Thurland and Williams. Sen. Sammuel Sanes was absent.
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April 8, 2009 -- After a quick but pointed discussion about the state of the territory's financial-management system, senators wasted no time Wednesday approving the nomination of Angel E. Dawson Jr. to head the Finance Department.
Voting in favor of the nomination during Wednesday's Rules and Judiciary Committee meeting were Sens. Carlton "Ital" Dowe, Neville James, Patrick Simeon Sprauve, Michael Thurland and Alvin L. Williams. Sen. Usie R. Richards cast the dissenting vote.
Discussing the need for better access to government financial records, senators said they were concerned that the implementation of the new Enterprise Resource Planning System, started in 2006, has yet to be completed. Almost three years and millions of dollars later, government agencies are still having trouble reporting their financial data, senators said, adding that several components of the system are not up and running.
Saying that the first part of the ERP-implementation process was "fraught with problems" due to improper planning, Dawson -- a seasoned banker and former Finance employee -- explained that the department has since been able to trade in its "firefighting tactics" for careful planning and research. The payroll module is set to go live in a few months, he said.
A fully functioning and "credible" ERP will help the government keep up with its federal single-audit mandates, Dawson said. While the fiscal year 2006 single audit was completed last month, Finance's goal is to have the FY 2007 single audit finished by August and the FY 2008 single audit out by the end of the year.
The most critical thing at this point, Dawson said, is to get the government's financial reporting up to date. In fully implementing the ERP, the government would have made a "substantial step" toward meeting the conditions of the 2002 third-party fiduciary arrangement with the federal government, he said.
"I imagine that when the ERP is fully implemented, we ought to be able to step back, look at what we've done and begin to do some strategic planning about what we want to look like 10 years down the line," Dawson said. "This system, like any other, has a shelf life, and we're going to have to beginning planning for where we want to be 10 years down the line."
Other plans include updating the department's accounting policies and procedures manual, creating a network of Finance employees that could go "out in the field" and help other departments with ERP training, and pushing for the "timely" reconciliation of government bank accounts.
If confirmed, Dawson will take over for Claudette Watson-Anderson, whose nomination to head the Internal Revenue Bureau was approved last month by the Rules Committee. Both nominations are scheduled to come before the full Senate body during a session next week. (See "Panel Backs Governor's Cabinet Shuffle.")
During Wednesday's hearing, senators also approved the nomination of Joyce Wensel-Bailey to the Government Employees Service Commission.
Present during Wednesday's hearing were Dowe, Louis P. Hill, James, Richards, Sprauve, Thurland and Williams. Sen. Sammuel Sanes was absent.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.