Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Congress News, May 23, 2003

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): May 23, 2003 - This week Congress reviewed the activities of the standing committees of congress. The five standing committees continue to hold oversight hearings on activities of the various departments and offices. Each committee received testimony from their respective department and office representatives.

Today, May 23, 2003, Congress convened in session after a weeklong recess during which the five standing committees of Congress conducted public hearings on the proposed fiscal year 2004 budget. Witnesses from the executive branch provided testimony on the proposed budget, as well as information on the government's performance during the current fiscal year. Presidential Communication No. 13-1, transmitting the proposed 2004 budget to Congress, forecasts a deficit of approximately $746,000. The Standing Committees will continue to review the proposed budget, and must recommend possible cuts to balance the proposed operational budget with forecasted revenue in FY 2004. This difficult job is left to the committee members who must insure that, while recommending decreases in certain areas, essential and necessary services are not curtailed.

The Committee on Ways and Means, Chaired by Senator Sabino Asor of Chuuk, is especially tasked to review the reasons for the deficit, and to recommend to Congress how to make ends meet. The committee must also recommend to Congress what actions the national government should take to avoid another "deficit budget" in the future.

Finally, Congress adopted congressional report 13-1 regarding a bill submitted by the administration seeking to grant the President authority to reprogram money within the current fiscal year budget. If passed by Congress, this authority would allow the President to identify possible sources of money within the current national government operational budget to fund the special elections in Chuuk and Yap, provide funding for the inauguration of the new government, and fund team FSM's participation in the South Pacific Games in Fiji.

For further information on this release, please contact:

Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia
Public Information Office
P.O Box PS-3
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2324/2325
Fax.: (691) 320-5122