Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Australia funds FSM border project

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): September 5, 2003 - A Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Australia and the Federated States of Micronesia launched the Australia funded Border Management System Project.

Ambassador Brendon Doran representing the Government of Australia and Acting Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, David W. Panuelo representing FSM, signed the MOU on September 3 at the Department's conference room in Palikir.

The Project is intended to provide a computerized recording of arrivals and departures through FSM's international airports through a system that is expected to network the National Immigration Office, the four states immigration offices and the four airports. The system is expected to enable among other things:

  • tracking of movements (arrival and departures);

  • maintenance of a watch list;

  • identification of "over-stayers" (including those by States);

  • generation of comprehensive statistical report/database.

The FSM's contribution, as stated in the MOU, would be US $50,000 to meet the required basic infrastructure upgrade and improvements in all the immigration and airport stations to prepare for Australia's contribution. Under the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Australian Government will provide $ US500,000 to purchase necessary Information Technology equipments to effectively implement the project.

The MOU also requires the establishment of a Project Coordinating Committee (PCC) to oversee the project's implementation and progress. The committee composition has been identified as representative from the Department of Justice as the implementation agency, with the representative from the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Economic Affairs, Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure and Finance and Administration as members.

Ambassador Doran and Acting Secretary Panuelo concluded the signing ceremony with exchange of remarks on the project as a testament to the close relationship between Australia and the FSM and the need for cooperation in the maintenance of peace and security. The Ambassador urged the FSM to complete its contribution at the earliest so that the equipment installation could begin as early as January 2004.

Along with Ambassador Doran and Acting Secretary Panuelo, witnesses to the signing ceremony included: Gary Bloom - Micronesia AusAID Coordinator, along with representatives from the Departments identified for the PCC: Department of Economic Affairs Acting Secretary - Ishmael Lebehn, Assistant Secretary of Statistics - Eneriko Sultan; Department of Finance and Administration Assistant Secretary of Customs - John Uwas; Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure Acting Secretary Weiner Hadley; Department of Justice Acting Secretary Harry Seymour, Chief of Immigration and Labor Mohner Esiel, Chief of National Police and Surveillance Pius Choitalug and Senior Immigration Officer David Wolpaghen.

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