CNMI Economic Report Based on Conflicting Data

December 14, 2008

Kristi Eaton, reporter for the Saipan Tribune, writes that the numbers in the McPhee economic report commissioned by the Fitial Administration don't add up.  Statistics given to federal officials for the GAO report differ from those given to McPhee and Conway. Ms. Eaton writes:
Malcolm McPhee, one of the authors of the Comprehensive Assessment of the CNMI Economy: Economic Impact of Federal Laws on the CNMI, acknowledged Thursday last week the difficulty he and co-author Dick Conway had in obtaining accurate data for the report that was released in November. Gov. Benigno Fitial has mentioned the report's findings in his motion to stop labor provisions of the new Northern Marianas Immigration Act.

One of the largest discrepancies in numbers is the per capita income for the CNMI. McPhee's report states that in 2004 the per capital income for the CNMI was $13,111-more than double the $6,178 per capita income for 2004 reported in the CNMI Household Income and Expenditures Survey, which was conducted by the Central Statistics Division of the Department of Commerce in October 2005.
Not surprising, since it was rumored that GAO officials had difficulty getting accurate statistics and records from the CNMI offices. The Saipan Tribune reports:
On Thursday, McPhee said that, because of multiple sources of data, he and Conway often had trouble determining what figure to use.

“That was really a difficult process,” he said. “Sometimes we had long conversations on which population figures were accurate.”

Conway worked with the Commerce Department through e-mail to settle on numbers, McPhee said. McPhee, who came out to the CNMI to discuss the report, could not be reached Friday as he was returning to the United States.

Both McPhee's report as well as the GAO's report noted the difficulty in obtaining reliable figures...
Numbers for the labor force were also difficult to determine. For one year there might be five different sources with five different numbers. It was a unique situation for Conway who is used to agencies in the United States, where numbers are readily available, McPhee said.
The report was propaganda commissioned by CNMI officials to push their agenda and to support their bogus federal lawsuit against federalization.   The CNMI apparently does not maintain accurate records and statistics, therefore any report would reflect the inaccuracies.   It is interesting that different figures and data were given to the different groups trying to gather them.  Another waste of US taxpayers' money. Read more posts about the McPhee/Conway CNMI Economic "report":
Here is the Economic Report
Some Thoughts on the Economic Report
Predictions or Propaganda?


Anonymous said...

Does that figure include the 6 million Abromoff made? I bet his income skews our results.

Not Jack Abramoff said...

I think it was closer to $11 million. Don't forget all the millions that went to CUC.

CNMI watcher said...

11 million is correct.

Was it Jack or Tim that made the Rydlime deal?

Willie Tan said he had Tom Delay in his pocket...on TV...and neither Delay, Tan, or Ben Fitial have answered for that.

Anonymous said...

It is the responsibility of the federal government to maintain this sort of statistic, as the U.S. Department of Commerce does almost everywhere else in our country.

This is yet another example of where the feds have let us down -- just as they didn't aggressively enforce federal labor laws here.

Did you notice that the “federalization” to begin on June 1, 2009 or whenever F-Day actually occurs does not change a single law about labor abuses?

That is because these laws have always applied to the CNMI since becoming part of the U.S. It's just that the feds haven't devoted the necessary manpower. Hopefully this will begin to change, as it has already.

Federal economic statistics about the CNMI indeed are still sorely needed.

Anonymous said...

It is the federal government's job to take a census every ten years and this is done. It is DOL's and the Division of Immigration's job to maintain statistics on guest workers who enter and exit. They do not even know who is here anymore.

You are right about not providing enough staff or funds in federal offices in the CNMI.