Colonia, Yap. October 6, 2014 – On September 23, 2014, the 18th FSM Congress enacted Congressional Bill 18-216 CD6, now Public Law No. 18-89, which is an act to appropriate $55,098,704 from the FSM General Fund to fund operations of all branches of the FSM Government, its agencies, various programs, grants, subsidies and contributions, and capital and human resource development for fiscal year ending September 30, 2015.
In signing the congressional act into law, the President noted some discrepancies in the figures reflected in the act. Adjustments to the errors will have the FY15 Budget at a correct $54,548,704.
Of this figure, about $17.4 million will go towards the operating expenses of the Executive Branch; $3.8 million towards the operating expenses of the Legislative Branch; $1.3 million for operations of the National Judicial Branch; $0.7 million for the operations of the National Public Auditor; $1.7 million towards operating expenses of Agencies of the National Government; $0.3 million for special programs; $9.2 million for grants, subsidies, and contributions; and a corrected $19.9 million for capital and human resources development.
In enacting the budget bill, Congress took into consideration most of the recommendations by the Ways and Means Committee as reflected in Standing Committee Report 18-209. The Ways and Means Committee’s final report recommended a number of adjustments to the recommendations of other Standing Committees charged with reviewing the budgets of departments, agencies, and programs within its jurisdictions.
The recommended adjustments included adjustments to the Transportation and Communication Committee’s SCR 18-163, which included among other adjustments, a recommendation to increase the appropriation for Outer Islands Airport Improvement under Capital and Human Resources Development to $2,000,000, with “at least $1,000,000 of the total $2,000,000 [to] be used exclusively for the Woleai Airport.” Other States infrastructure projects, including Sekere-Palikir Road, Weno Road/Xavier Road and Chuuk Airport, Kosrae Circumferential Road, and the Yap International Airport Terminal Improvement also received funding under the FY15 budget at $300,000 each State.
The Ways and Means Committee also recommended adjustments to the Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee Report 18-166, which included among others, an increase of $5,000 each for Kosrae and Yap Joint Law Enforcement under Grants and Subsidies. The final legislation had $50,000 each for states of Pohnpei and Chuuk, and $30,000 each for the Joint Law Enforcement in Kosrae and Yap. Each of the four State Judiciaries also got similar amounts in subsidies.
The Committee also recommended adjusting the Health and Social Affairs Report 18-154 to appropriate $55,000 for a “FSM Women’s Conference to be held in Pohnpei State.”
Another recommended adjustment to the Resources and Development Committee Report 18-208 included an appropriation of $67,000 under Capital and Human Resources to fund the establishment of FSM Association of Chamber of Commerce, along with a $100,000 for “Food Security Production” intended to “for the outer islands of the Federated States of Micronesia.”
Additionally, adjustment recommendations for the Education Committee Report 18-207 were also made which included raising the GPA qualification requirement for the National Scholarship to 3.0, in hopes that “this change will promote and reward true scholarly achievements.” The National Scholarship funding also under the FY15 budget is increased to $2 million, from a $1 million appropriation last year. Other scholarships funded by the FSM remain intact, including the National Merit Scholarship for $300,000. Financial assistance to FSM students attending CMI and PCC totaling $75,000, as well as $500,000 in aid to Non-Public Schools were also provided for under the FY15 budget.
The Ways and Means Committee also recommended adjustments to its initial report on the budget (SCR18-170), which mostly included the budget for the Legislative Branch, including among other recommended changes, an additional $170,000 under the Contractual Services, and an increase in the budget for each of the Congressional Delegation Offices. The recommended changes also included among other recommendations appropriations under grants and subsidies a $150,000 for the “Compact of Free Association Historical Project”, $100,000 for “Congressional Activities in Preparation of the Compact Transition”, and $100,000 “for expenses incurred in updating the FSM Code.”
The Ways and Means Committee also recommended under Capital and Human Resources $10 million for the FSM Trust Fund to “be deposited into sub-accounts”.
The recommended adjustments of the Ways and Means Committee were mostly reflected in the enacted FY15Budget bill, along with other adjustments that came in discussion of the bill.
The budget bill became Public Law 18-89 on September 29, 2014.
For a complete listing of all the various Committees reports and recommendations on the budget, and for a copy of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget for the FSM National Government, please visit www.fsmcongress.fm.