Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

Special Session Tackles Critical Funding Needs of Education Department

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): July 29, 2010 - The Fourth Special Session of the Sixteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia is underway as called by President Emanuel 'Manny' Mori to address critical funding needs of the National Department of Education, among others.

President Mori's call underlined foremost for Congress to consider the urgency of inadequate funding to meet payroll needs of the NDOE for the remainder of the fiscal year. The other education issue highlighted by the call is the carry-over Supplemental Education Grant (SEG) for FY 2006 which would be returned to the United States Treasury if not expended by September 30, 2010.

The other issues in the call are the pending nominations and legislations along with the National Government's share of the Japanese non-project scheme.

The special session as called is for three days from July 28 thru 30.

Congress duly convened in Palikir on Wednesday morning to tackle the issues as noted in the President's call. The morning's formalities included welcoming of Vice President Alik L. Alik and the Cabinet along with the heads of the national offices and agencies, members of the diplomatic community and individuals who took interest in the morning's proceedings.

Special welcome and recognition were extended to Assistant Secretary Anthony M. Babauta of the United States Department of Interior for Insular Areas and his delegation for observance of the convening of the Fourth Special Session. Babauta is visiting the FSM for the first time in his official capacity as Assistant Secretary of DOI.

Speaker Isaac V. Figir was scheduled to arrive in Pohnpei in the afternoon therefore Vice Speaker Fredrico O. Primo presided over the morning's opening session. He disposed of Day One's order of business, appointed the Committee to Wait on the President and recessed to await the committee's report.

The Committee reported back to Congress this morning the results of its meeting with the Vice President who acknowledged that while the Executive has submitted additional issues for consideration, top priorities remain with the education items of the call.

Salaries of certain NDOE employees and carry-over funds for SEG-06 were the source of intense discussions during Day Two of the Fourth Special Session. Concerns were raised on the proposed usage of carry-over funds to address the salary issue.

Acutely aware of its limited authority over state funds, Congress debated in length on the SEG-06 carry-over funds, the state governments' role in the process and the timeline within which action can be taken by all governments involved.

Congress decided to address the issue that is within its jurisdiction and passed on First Reading Congressional Bill 16-126 to appropriate from the General Fund an amount of 94,394 to supplement the operations of the NDOE with the Department obligated for reimbursement.

Deliberations on the issue of SEG-06 carry-over funds remain inconclusive and promises to continue on Day Three.

Prior to recessing for the day, Congress adopted two Congressional Resolutions (C.R.) authorizing the President to resubmit the nomination of Marion Henry for the Secretary of the Department of Resources and Development, C.R. 16-88; and the nomination of Albert T. Welly for the National Elections Director, C.R. 16-99.

Congress will reconvene tomorrow at 10am in Palikir.

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