FSM Congress News, September 6, 2004
PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): September 6, 2004 - Congress congratulated two Yapese gentlemen September 2, in two separate resolutions in its 4th day of the 5-day 5th Special Session. Congress approved Mr. Andrew Yatilman's nomination to the Board of Regents of the College of Micronesia-FSM and a congratulatory one to Mr. Manuel Manginfel in his efforts in becoming the number one weightlifter in all weight divisions in the entire Pacific. Mr. Manginfel is the first FSM athlete to ever qualify for an Olympic Games and rank in top eleven on the Olympic qualification-ranking list in his weight category (62 kg). The later resolution was also passed to congratulate and thank all other FSM athletes of the 2004 Olympic, coaches, staffs and all other people who were involved in the preparations of the FSM team to the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Congress also ratified a resolution pertains to a United Nation Convention against the trafficking and exploitation of prostitution and adopted two other resolutions pertain to an agreement between the governments of the People's Republic of China and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The agreement gratuitously grant the FSM US $1.7 million for economic and technical cooperation projects or providing commodities to the FSM Government, according to committee reports.
The Committee on Resources and Development reported that the two governments have not agreed, yet, on what projects should be considered under this agreement. But the Department of Foreign Affairs is considering the construction of the four official residences of the President, Vice President, the Chief Justice and Speaker of the FSM government for funding under this agreement. In addition to the four residences, the Tuna Commission building and the Airport/Terminal renovation in Chuuk.
Congress deferred action on an attempt to authorize compensation to employees of the national government for work done during certain emergencies and special operations. Congress also deferred action on two other bills, which aim to conform certain provisions of the FSM's internal budget procedures with the requirements of the Amended Compact and the Fiscal Procedures Agreement.
Congress expressed concerns during discussion on a bill to appropriate funds received under a loan already provided by the Asian Development Bank. The concerns raised referred to the government's relying on foreign funding and manpower on issues that could be taken care of within our own local means.
It deferred the bill to the next session, which will be the 4th and Final Regular Session of the 13th Congress. It also decided that the two regular sessions scheduled for every year are not consistent with the internal budget procedures that are necessary if the national government is to comply with the requirements of the Amended Compact.
Congress approved a bill that calls for three regular sessions to be held in a year; January, April and September for 20 days each session. The bill would reduce the need for special sessions, improving the ability of both Congress and the Executive Branch to plan and prepare their legislative work, and shortening the sessions from 30-day to 20-day would provide efficiency and effectiveness to Congress.
The other bill Congress approved during its 5th Special Session pertains to reorganizing the administrative and budget office of Congress. The bill would create, within Congress, a new office of the economist and bring together the budget and administrative functions in a newly created Office of Administration and Budget. The most important point in reorganizing the Congressional Office is that Congress is taking action to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in its own office. The other bills passed final reading of Congress would clarify, specify, change use and change allottees, provide supplemental funding and matching to certain funds previously appropriated by Congress.
Congress adjourned Friday, September 03, 2004 until the October Regular Session slated to convene on the second Monday of that month.
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