Tuesday, January 14, 2014

FSM Congress overrides President Mori's veto of a $4.9 million public project appropriation

FSMIS (January 14, 2014): On January 3, Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori disapproved Congressional Act No. 18-34, which would provide an amount of $4.9 million from the general fund of the FSM for fiscal year 2014 to fund "public projects and social programs" in all the States.

The Act was passed by Congress on December 5, 2013, during its Second Special Session.

In his veto message to Speaker Dohsis Halbert, President Mori emphasized his support of public projects and programs "when conceived and implemented properly" as they contribute to basic government services and support economic growth. However, the President reiterated the need for transparency and clear guidance on the process employed in the determination and allocation of resources to projects. He further stated with regards hearing, "this is the most serious part of the process because without such public hearings, there is no opportunity for the public to have input into the process of providing public projects and programs for their well-being".

President Mori also observed that "while revenue has continue to grow, Congress is also increasing appropriations for public projects and programs" in an unsustainable manner as the FSM moves closer to 2023, the year financial assistance from the United States under the Compact is expected to terminate.

President Mori would rather have "surplus" revenue for the Nation be allocated to "priority programs" such as the proposed Set Aside fund to help defray "anticipated shortfall of the more than $600 million in the Trust Fund and provide funding for targeted projects", such as the "Fly Micronesia" airline project. Among other priority improvement projects, the FSM has toiled to enhance the transportation sector, including concerted efforts on a viable regionally targeted airline to strengthen the tourism industry.

During this current session, the Third Regular Session, Congress undertook to override the veto  on January 13, putting in place the latest public project and social program appropriation law.

For further information, email fsmpio@mail.fm

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