Deloitte announces departure from Micronesia; plans for employees

Longtime accounting firm Deloitte announced July 8 in an email letter to clients in Micronesia that it will depart the region in the coming months.

In the letter – which Deloitte & Touche LLP which does business in Guam as Deloitte – supplied to the Journal on July 12, the company said, “Deloitte Guam (which includes American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau, and provides Audit & Assurance and Tax services) will wind down its business and exit Deloitte Southeast Asia, Deloitte Asia Pacific and the Deloitte network in the second half of 2023.

“The mutual decision for Deloitte Guam to exit Deloitte has been taken in light of our business strategy and the local market environment. Effective immediately, Deloitte Guam will not take on any new engagements,” the letter said.

Until the Guam firm ceases providing services“it will continue to be an affiliate of Deloitte Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific and it is expected that existing client work will continue to be completed as normal during the transition period,” the letter said.

Thanking its clients, staff, government and stakeholders, Deloitte said it would be reaching out to clients to discuss details.

Tung Wei-Li, CEO of Deloitte Guam, told the Journal, “Our employees were informed before we communicated with our clients.

“Deloitte Guam is currently in discussions with EY Guam (Ernst & Young LLP), whom we understand are looking to offer employment opportunities to the affected personnel.”

Partners in Deloitte in Guam also include Daniel S. Fitzgerald, Lee H. Vensel, Christopher R. Wolseley and Arata Ichikawa. 

Michael S. Johnson is the managing partner of Deloitte in Saipan.


Hospitality industry sees closures, supply chain challenges

The Subway Restaurant in Tumon at Blue Lagoon Plaza on San Vitores Road and the McDonald’s Restaurant – also in Tumon on San Vitores Road at Japan Plaza – have both closed.

The Gourmet Guam dessert shop announced closure from July 11 “until further notice” due to [a] supply shortage.

An ingredient shortage also hit Crown Bakery in Barrigada, according to Journal files.


Siren wakes residents again

The offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense advised at 12.35 a.m. on July 15 that it was “aware of the All Hazards Alert Warning System siren located at the GHS/OCD office in Agana Heights sounding … this morning and continuing.”

The Agana Heights siren has previously woken residents as has the siren in Yona. According to Journal files, 15 sirens were purchased in 2006, with installation beginning in 2014.

Federally funded, a further grant was awarded for sirens and Guam Homeland Security began scouting areas for an additional 31 in 2017. There are currently 19 sirens, according to Journal files.

Tests of the AHAWS sirens are conducted monthly and typically on the first Tuesday of each month.


DoD issues update on food security

The U.S. Department of Defense issued a report on July 15 (Chamorro Standard Time) updating on “Strengthening Food Security in the Force: Strategy and Roadmap.”

The report said, “These evidence-informed actions address a breadth of issues and include goals across six lines of effort designed to: 1) increase access to healthy food, 2) enhance spouse economic opportunities, 3) review service member pay and benefits, 4) reinforce financial resources and awareness, 5) encourage service members and families to seek available resources and services, and 6) expand data collection and reporting.”

See the report here:

In Guam and to a lesser extent the Northern Mariana Islands, the military presence, military exercises, and Navy port visits provide economic opportunities for ongoing and short-term supply contracts, as well as for local hotels and restaurants. The local market continues to face supply chain issues.

Maritime Prepositioning Force ships are stationed in Guam and Saipan through Maritime Prepositioning Ships Squadron 3 and carry supplies.

Military spouses regularly find employment in Guam.

In other U.S. military news, both the Logistics Group for the Western Pacific and Joint Region Marianas confirmed that Pacific Partnership 2022 kicked off July 12, with the Military Sealift Command’s USNS Mercy hospital ship in Palau. See for earlier reports. The Mercy left San Diego May 3 and was in Guam for a port visit at the beginning of June, according to Journal files.

According to information from the Logistics Group and JRM, “Engagements in Palau include medical subject-matter-expert exchanges related to pediatric care, maternity care, neonatal care, intensive and critical care, mental health for military veterans, and physical therapy,”

The Mercy has been a frequent annual visitor to the Micronesian region, visiting the Marshall Islands also, according to Journal files. This is the 17th year of the Pacific Partnership.

In line with other initiatives, exercises and policy, this year the event is multi-national, with “representatives from Australia, Japan, [and] the United Kingdom” joining the U.S. “on a range of activities and projects, specifically related to humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and medical exchanges,” the two military entities said.

While there are international teams onboard the Mercy representing various branches of international military, The HMS Tamar, a Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel, is taking part in Pacific Partnership, according to the U.K.’s Navy.


U.S. military contracting update:

According to Journal sources, a short list of companies has been identified for the “Indefinite Quantity Contract for Multi-discipline A-E Services for Various Facilities and Activities under the Cognizance of the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Marianas.” Bids were due Mar 31, 2021, for the $20 million five-year award which covered primarily Guam, but might include “outlying areas in the Pacific Ocean, including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and … Micronesia.” The contract is a HUBZone set aside.

The Military Sea Lift Command’s Guam General Ship Repair IDIQ Multiple Award Contract closed for bids July 1. The first pre-solicitation was posted in October 2021 for “sources capable of supporting General Ship Repair requirements in MSC Ship Support Unit Guam’s area of responsibility.” In February, the updated pre-solicitation said, “the five-year ordering period is estimated to begin in October 2022. Each contract will have a guaranteed minimum of $3,500.00 and each contract will have a ceiling of $249,000,000.00.” 

The contract was last amended on June 27, according to U.S. Department of Defense documents and is a HUBZone small business set-aside. Previous contracts were awarded to Cabras Marine Corp., Guam Shipyard and Seafix Inc.


US DOI announces grant opportunities

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs announced July 15 that “$555,765 has been made available under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” for Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands “to restore native vegetation and mitigate environmental hazards on mined land, both federal and non-federal.”  

According to the release, “Examples of man-made activities that have disturbed landscapes or shorelines could include but are not limited to sand/gravel/coral mining where such materials have been extracted or dredged from the land, beaches, inland dunes, the ocean, and riverbeds. Such activities are often used to support manufacturing, construction, and road development. Funding has been prioritized to mitigate these landscape disturbances utilizing native vegetation and local natural resources. “

Applications are due Aug. 1. The OIA also said to expect future announcements related to funding through the law to “combat invasive species, propagate native vegetation, and restore recreational lands.”  


Chickenpox in the NMI

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is seeing an increase in chickenpox cases in the Northern Mariana Islands, with seven reported cases since June 15, according to a July 12 release. For vaccination, call the CHCC Immunization Program at (670) 236-8745.


For your diary:

July 15 – The Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency invites the public to the Tsubaki Tower Lobby Lounge for Kantan Estoria-ta – the music and songs of the liberation from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., featuring Microchild, Kaylee and Kiko, Forte and Andrew Gumataotao.

The event is made possible by the Tsubaki Lounge, DST Music Productions, the Office of the Governor of Guam and the National Endowment for the Arts.

July 16 – Pay-Less Supermarkets will host its family-friendly 2022 Måolek Summer Block Party from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. between the Pay-less Markets and Calvo’s Insurance corporate offices.

Expect more than 20 food trucks, 40 vendors, and live performances from The Radiants and The John Dank Show, giveaways and raffles.

Road closures of Chalan Santo Papa and Martyr Street on July 16 will be from 8 am. to- 11:59 p.m. The 2022 Måolek Summer Block Party is sponsored by Calvo’s Insurance and Matson Navigation Co.

July 23 and July 30 – Guam Unique Merchandize and Art (in partnership with the Mayors Council of Guam) six-hour training for residents who would like to start or expand their home-based businesses at the Father Duenas Memorial School from 9 a.m. to noon.  

Aug. 6 and Aug. 13 – GUMA training in Piti at the Piti Social Hall.

For more information, call (671) 646-3448 or see www.gumaguam.commbj