Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Office of SBOC, September 9, 2014) - On August 28, 2014, the Joint Economic Management Committee or JEMCO held its annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawai’i and approved allocation of a total budget of $51,588,941 from Compact Sector grants for Fiscal Year 2015 for the FSM. This approved amount is against the total of $73,558,513 requested for the fiscal year. The breakdown of the allocation by sector is as follows:
$ 24,395,576 Education
$ 20,116,540 Health
$ 2,369,211 Public Sector Capacity Building
$ 1,988,599 Private Sector Development
$ 1,518,544 Environment
$ 1,518,544 Environment
$ 1,200,471 Enhanced Reporting and Accountability
$ 51,588,941 Total FY 2015 Sector Allocation
The Office of SBOC also submitted to OIA for JEMCO’s consideration at its annual meeting project proposals against the prior year unallocated funds. OIA grants managers have indicated that they are recommending favorably to JEMCO a total amount of $3,897,893 in projects against a total FSM request in excess of $9 million. JEMCO will be requested to hold a virtual vote on this allocation later this year.
In addition, JEMCO adopted two education sector related resolutions at this meeting:
· Resolution JEMCO 2014-1, Use of Compact/SEG Funds – Linkage to Accreditation Status and
· Resolution JEMCO 2014-2, Personnel Leave Policies for Compact/SEG Supported Personnel.
Resolution JEMCO 2014-1 resolves for the linkage of Compact/SEG funds usage to accreditation status of schools within the FSM effective in Fiscal Year 2016. The same resolution further resolved that in Fiscal Year 2017, any school that fails the standards pertaining to potable drinking water and sanitary toilets may not receive Compact Sector Grant and Supplemental Education Grant assistance.
Resolution JEMCO 2014-2 resolves that effective Fiscal Year 2016, Compact Sector Grant and Supplemental Education Grant assistance only towards a limited number of annual (24 hours or 3 days) and sick (80 hours or 10 days) leave for school-based staff during the school year.
The committee also picked up on the discussions during the midyear meeting regarding the infrastructure sector grant and project implementation in the FSM. Between 2004 and 2014, out of a total $252,000,000 available for infrastructure sector grants, only $150,000,000 worth of projects have been approved and being obligated for infrastructure projects in the FSM. JEMCO members reiterated concerns over this huge amount of unspent funds and expressed commitment to assist in any way to facilitate moving forward on infrastructure implementation. Committee members also acknowledged the progress made by the informal working group consisting of both FSM and OIA staff in working more closely together to ensure that infrastructure project funds are made available to the FSM. Based on these commitments, the FSM PMU will be submitting to OIA a list of priority projects that are ready for implementation and within the capacity for PMU to implement over the coming year. Meanwhile, the FSM Government is working on updating its Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP), which will also include a review of the institutional arrangements for infrastructure implementation at both the National and State level.