Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

New law to address issues at DC Embassy

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): July 25, 2006 - The first signed measure from the recently concluded Fourth Special Session of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia addresses current matters at the FSM Embassy in Washington, DC.

Public Law 14-68, signed by President Joseph J. Urusemal on July 17, appropriates $ 131,343 to address certain issues identified during the course of investigating alleged passport conspiracy at the Embassy in DC.

In March of this year, a former staff at the FSM Embassy in DC was charged with Conspiracy to Import Illegal Aliens into the U.S.

During the same month, the FSM Congress appointed a Special Committee to look into the state of affairs at the DC Embassy. The Special Committee is headed by Senator Dohsis Halbert, Chairman of Congress's Committee of Judicial and Governmental Operations.

The Special Committee had held a series of public hearings with the Executive Branch to follow-up on the DC Embassy's state of affairs, prior to the convening of the Fourth Special Session.

Witnesses from the Executive Branch had updated the Special Committee on the current status of the alleged passport conspiracy at the Embassy and the National Government's role in the investigation. The witnesses had also noted that the National Government is doing its own investigations into administrative and operational matters at the D.C. Embassy, but progress is hindered by the lack of financial support.

Consequently, the first legislative measure received from the 4th Special Session appropriates funding to facilitate the national government's efforts to address issues at the DC Embassy.

The $ 131,343 funding appropriated in the newly signed PL 14-68, is to be apportioned according to the following identified efforts:

$ 15,000: for repatriation purposes for the FSM Ambassador at the DC Embassy;
$ 26,343: for the Department of Justice to investigate issues at the Embassy; and
$ 90,000: for the Office of the National Public Auditor to audit and investigate operations of the Embassy.

Other Bills adopted during the Special Session are still under review, among which included two National Elections measures and a supplemental budget.

In addition to the bills, during the Fourth Special Session, the 14th Congress had also adopted two Congressional Resolutions:

CR 14-78: sets the ceiling for available funding for Fiscal Year 2006 at $ 95,321,450; and

CR 14-79: expresses Congresses sadness for the passing of Dr. Eliuel K. Pretrick and recognizing his many accomplishments and numerous contributions to the nation, recently as a former Secretary of the FSM Department of Health, Education and Social Affairs.

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