Thursday, February 28, 2013

President Mori approves Congressional Act 17-81 to become Public Law 17-74 and recommends $6million investment into FSM Trust Fund Account

FSMIS (February 28, 2013): President Manny Mori approved Congressional Act number 17-81 to become FSM Public Law number 17-74 on February 12 with concerns raised on a number of decisions made by Congress.

In anticipation of the last January session of Congress, President Mori submitted a budget supplemental request of $9,442,096 – an unallocated amount from anticipated revenue for the current 2013 fiscal year. However, Congress appropriated an amount of $2,297,000 for specific purposes, leaving a balance of $7,145,096 unappropriated. The table below details the funding allocation per budget item.

Budget Line Item
Amount allocated
National Oceanic Resources Management Authority
Micronesian Challenge
Dept. of Resources and Development
FSM Student at PCC
Dept. of Education
Tuna Commission Membership
Tuna Commission Membership Fee
Investors and Banking Symposium
Dept. of Resources and Development
2023 Planning Committee
President’s Office
Upgrade of Technological Infrastructure
FSM Supreme Court
Public Defender’s Building in Kosrae State
Public Defender’s Office
Sports Facility Renovation in Pohnpei
Dept. of Health and Social Affairs
Private Sector Capital
FSM Development Bank
Contractual Services
FS M Congress (Speaker and Members)
Contractual Services
President’s Office (President and Vice President)

In his signing letter to Speaker Isaac V. Figir, President Mori raised concerns that certain appropriated items were passed without consultations with the President’s Office and any public hearing undertaken.  These items included increases for representation funds by $10,000 each for the President and the Members of Congress. “I truly believe that we could have waited until after we have had the opportunity to consult on the matter preferably in April or May”, the President indicated.

A number of other items submitted in the supplemental request were not included in the Act, such as the FSM Trust Fund, Department of Justice personnel budget, funding for the new patrol boat – FSS Unity, Unified Revenue Administration Automation Project, FSM National Government Pension Plan, AIP matching, and Airport Project.

In view of the eventual termination of Compact funds in 2023, the President proposed that audited unexpended operation budgets (carryover) be invested in the FSM Trust Fund Account beginning at the end of FY13 onward.

Furthermore, President Mori sought for Congress’ cooperation in transferring the unappropriated   “over $6 Million” in current year expected revenues into the FSM Trust Fund Account. He said, “I note that certain members (of Congress) have expressed the desire that this money (unappropriated revenues) be distributed to the States to help their needs. While I applaud and agree that we must help the states in their critical needs, however, let us help them to make sure that we have and share the underlying plans and objectives to use the funds in manner that will address their specific priority needs. The best way to respond to their re-occurring needs is to reconsider the revenue sharing of 50% - 50% by increasing the Stat’s shares by 10% and reduce the National Government’s share by the same rate”.

With the signing of the Act into law, the total FY13 operation budget for the National Government is $44,786,854, which includes an amount of $9,309,777 for various capital improvements, development programs and human resources development activities under section 9 of P.L. No. 17-64, as amended, labeled as Capital and Human Resources Development.

For more information, write or call 320-2548. 

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