Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

DOI's response to letter regarding the Education Sector grants

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Service): November 25, 2005 - On November 23, 2005, the President shared with the four State Governors the copy of the Department of Interior's response to Secretary Anefal's letter regarding the withheld FY 2006 Education Sector grant.

In his letter to the Governors, President Urusemal informed the Governors that even though DOI response did not fully address what the FSM had requested at least a month's worth of Personnel costs for all governments and the entire funding for the College of Micronesia-FSM under the Education Sector have been released.

With respect to the purchase of textbooks and instructional materials, President Urusemal informed the Governors that the governments were given up to the end of November to settle the textbook and instructional material requirement to avoid calling of a special session of JEMCO meeting to consider the issue further.

The issue here is the JEMCO requirement that no less than $2.5 million of the Education Sector grants be used for purchase of textbook and instructional materials.

To further justify the decision of DOI on the withholding of funds, the Assistant Secretary wrote, "As you know, the intent of the JEMCO resolution was to ensure that the school children in the FSM could begin in FY 2006 education sector grant contains special terms and conditions to implement this decision. The actions of JEMCO and the terms and conditions of the grant are consistent with authorities established in the amended Compact and the Fiscal Procedures Agreement (FPA)".

The Assistant Secretary, Mr. Cohen, argues in his letter that JEMCO has final say on the allocation of Compact grants and is not bound to follow the FSM bidget process and that the normal procedure would be for the government legislatures to simply authorize the use of Compact grants, an approach which would avoid needless delays in the use of Compact grants. Also, he reiterated his request for an update line-item budget f the education sector grant.

In the letter to the Governors, President Urusemal acknowledged the receipts of the new suggested budget line-items from the States and that the national government would do its part to expedite the relaying of the needed information to the Office of Insular 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