Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FEMA Officials Visited FSM to Close Out FEMA Projects

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): September 1, 1997 - A team from the Region Nine Pacific Area Office at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, headed by Director William Carwile and two staffers spent nearly a week meeting with officials in an effort to officially close the books on some of the FEMA projects that have been completed but have not been closed out, according to President's Special Assistant John Mangefel.

In reviewing the FSM's record against the FEMA records, there are about six FEMA projects from 1990 and 1991 that have been completed but have not been closed out because FSM Government have not submitted all documents for reimbursements from FEMA.

There are about six FEMA projects that have been completed and due for closing in the books. These projects totaling apprximately $1.2 million, FEMA's records shows only about $350,000 expended leaving a balance of some $850,000.

One contributing factor to this huge balance is the continuing disagreement between FSM Finance and the various states in agreeing on the expenditure of FEMA funds on various expense items which FSM Finance considers unrelated, invalid and therefore can not be charged to the respective FEMA project.

The FSM Government and FEMA have agreed to resolve the issues and to work towards closing the books on these projects. It is the interests of both the FSM and FEMA to close some of these projects, essentially the old ones, Mangefel says.

FSM is eligible for direct assistance program from FEMA when declared by the President of the United States as a major disaster area. FSM is also eligible for mitigation programs which are granted upon request of a state to minimize or the prevention of damages previously suffered in the event of a recurrence of similar disaster incidence, Mangefel explained. An example of such mitigation projects are the one in the State of Kosrae in the amount of $50,000 to replace the existing wooden electric poles with concrete poles; the State of Pohnpei has received $250,000, to repair and improve the Nanpohnmal road to withstand erosions from heavy rain and floods. Chuuk hospital purchased an emergency generator from funds provided under the FEMA Mitigation projects to supply power when the island power is down. Also available upon request are other numerous mitigation fundings including food preparation project intended to minimize the impact of disaster when one occurs. Several projects are on-going in the State of Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei, Mangefel concluded.

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