Thursday, July 31, 2008

Order please

Gov. Benigno R. Fitial seems to have picked up some bad habits during his time in the House of Representatives.

The Governor issued an Executive Order yesterday amending his Friday Executive Order giving the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation borrowing authority. That's the kind of ad hoc legislating that's given the CNMI a black eye for years. I lost count; were there three or four Executive Orders before he got it right when he took over the Commonwealth Ports Authority?

Ah, well, from the Saipan Tribune story, at least the amendment drops the unconstitutional provision letting one house of the legislature approve the deal. (The Marianas Variety doesn't seem to think either order is newsworthy.)

Technically, it's not legislating of course, though EO's have the force of law. I tried to look it up instead of depending on the Tribune but the information isn't readily available.

That amazed me. The CNMI Law Revision Commission website has the Constitution, the Covenant, Public Laws, the Commonwealth Register and lots of court stuff. (Click on "Legal Documents" in the sidebar of the Home page.)

Go to Executive Orders and you get this helpful advice: If you need a copy of an executive order or information regarding an executive order, please contact Programs & Legislative Review at (670) 664-2286/2288 / (670) 664-2313 (fax).

Not good enough by half. You shouldn't have to guess whether there is an Executive Order affecting you. EO's, like laws and regulations should be listed publicly. Actually, the Commonwealth Register is pretty lame too, unless you want to fork out 100 bucks for a subscription. The Attorney General link is broken. Don't try to get in through the Governor's Office, you'll end up on Saipan.Com, though the browser will tell you it's

How about an Executive Order requiring that Executive Orders be published?

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