Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

Speaker urged commitment to laws and policies

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): May 26, 2008 - The Fourth Regular Session of the 15th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia is in its final week of public hearings with the departments, offices and agencies of the national government Fiscal Year 2009 Budget.

The May sessions are traditionally referred to as the Budget Session since it focuses primarily on the national government budget. As such, since convening on Monday - May 12, Congress has mostly been in recess to allow the Congressional Committees time to meet with the various entities of the national government.

Speaker Isaac V. Figir had during the first week of delivered a statement to members highlighting the national accomplishments for the past year as "much for which we can be proud." He recalled foremost the peaceful election of the nation's leadership as an accomplishment that, alone, deserves special recognition. As a nation of four distant states - each with its own distinct customs, traditions and language, "the ability to peacefully select national leaders and to transition from one government to the next is something for which the people of this great nation should be thankful.

"Not all nations are so blessed" said Speaker.

Speaker Figir called attention to role of Congress in the Administration's reorganization plan and other initiatives. Despite the challenges and differences that accompany new Administrations, he noted that Congress had given the Administration its full support. The Administration on the other hand, extended its support to the initiatives by the Legislative Branch, by signing into law measures which included: the reform of the national election laws; making judicial salaries more competitive; modification of certain immigration regulations regarding surviving spouses, FSM national and children of FSM nationals along with naturalized citizenships; expansion of FSM scholarship programs to new vocation.

While each Branch had supported the other in their efforts, Speaker Figir noted that Congress and the Administration had, together, created the FSM Petroleum Corporation. According to Speaker's statement, such collaborations between the two Branches along with the challenges and differences are inherent to the process of nation building - a system of checks and balances.

Speaker Figir expressed to the members that Congress must "have the ability to disagree [...] how we react to the disagreement or disappointment will be one of the measures of the success of this government." He reminded members that Congress has always been and will always be, subjected to public scrutiny for the way it conducts itself, "this is as it should be.

"How we respond to criticism and suggestions for improvement will be the measure of this body," Speaker Figir noted.

The Speaker concluded his statement with encouragement to the members to promote and retain the public trust through their own commitment to the principles of ethical values and adherence to the laws and policies of the nation. - Full text of Speaker Figir's statement is available at www.congresspio.fm.

Congress, meanwhile, has been in recess to allow the Departments, Offices, Agencies and the various Boards and Commissions of the National Government to go through the rigorous public hearing process to defend their proposed budgets for Fiscal Year 2009 which starts on October 1st, 2008.


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
e-mail: congresspio@mail.fm
http://www.fsmcongress.fm