Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori submits Executive Reorganization Bill to Congress

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Service): June 21, 2007 - President Emanuel Mori today, transmitted to the 15th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia, a proposed Bill to Reorganize the Executive Branch of the National Government.

The proposed Bill, as stated in the President's transmittal letter to Speaker Isaac V. Figir, is part of the new Administration's overall efforts to "increase management efficiency within our national government and to better enable those departments and offices to deal with the evolving issues and challenges facing our islands people today."

President Mori's transmittal letter refers to the Reorganization Plan as part of the Administration's efforts to seek a "reasonable balance between quality public service and cost efficiency," in that regard the plan as structured has minimal impact on the national budget.

The Administration has identified two primary aims in the plan which is expected to help improve the quality of government's services.

First, the plan aims to streamline the multitudes of functions scattered or duplicated in different offices by combining related functions into one office to expedite the performance and delivery of services, to that extend, among the proposed offices is one which would combine Budget, Statistics, Development Coordination and the Office of Compact Management.

The second means of delivering quality government services is to emphasize the pressing importance of certain government functions which have, overtime, become obscured within the various departments and offices. President Mori noted that given the importance of these certain functions to the islands' survival, cultural identity and long term development interest, the proposed Executive Reorganization Bill will accord such functions their appropriate priority status as separate departments or separate offices.

As such, the Executive Reorganization Bill transmitted to the 15th FSM Congress proposed the following changes to the Departments:

1. Department of Education: Education is proposed to separate from Health and Social Affairs as a department by itself to allow the separated areas to effectively focus on its specific needs and challenges. It would enable the Department of Education to concentrate its attention and effort towards the nation's various educational challenges.

2. The separation likewise, is proposed to enable the Department of Health and Social Affairs to concentrate its efforts on the growing number of health and social issues that are no longer confined to the national and state borders. With health and social issues often overlapping, the two components are maintained as the two divisions of the new department.

3. A name change is proposed for the Department of Economic Affairs to become the Department of Resources and Development, with a slight change to the existing divisions. The proposals maintained the previous sectoral Divisions of: Tourism; Marine Resources; Agriculture; Trade and Industry; with a new Division of Energy.

4. The Department of Justice is proposed to maintain all its existing structure but with the inclusion of the transferred function of Registrar of Corporations from the department of Resources and Development.

5. With the exception of the Division of Budget which has transferred under a new office, the Department of Finance and Administration remains the same.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure remain unchanged.

In addition to the Departments, the Executive Reorganization Bill also proposed a streamline of national functions into three new offices.

1. The Office of Statistics, Budget, Overseas Development Assistance and Compact Management: The new office is intended to centralize all the government's economic planning and macro-management functions with the Compact and other foreign assistance implementation functions. Not only would the merger enable those divisions with related functions to coordinate their efforts, but it would also provide an effective and permanent management tool for the government.

2. The Office of National Archives, Culture and Historical Preservation: With the new office, President Mori underscored the importance of Micronesian history and cultural identity to the new Administration. He referred to the various provisions throughout the FSM Constitution which calls for the preservation and respect of the Micronesian culture and noted that the proposed office therefore would be charged to fulfill this commitment.

3. The Office of Environment and Emergency Management Agency: In light of the severity and urgency of today's daunting environmental challenges to island nations, the new office is proposed to elevate environmental protection function as a priority of the new Administration. With areas parallel in responsibilities, the proposed office would allow the two entities to better coordinate their efforts as a single unit.

The administrative head of each Department and office is designated as Secretary and Director, respectively.

While the Executive Reorganization Bill sets forth the general structure outline of the proposed reorganized Executive Branch, an accompanying amendment to Executive Order No. 1 has also been submitted to detail the functions and responsibilities proposed for the reorganized Executive Branch.

The proposed Executive Reorganization Bill is the new Administration's efforts to seek a reasonable balance between quality public service and cost efficiency.

In his transmittal letter, the President reassured the FSM Congress that based on the costs analysis, the reorganization plan is not anticipated to cause any "significant increase in the government's annual expenditures outlays more than one half percent (.5%) of the proposed Fiscal-Year 2008 Budget."

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356