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Press Release

Key Staffers from the US Congressional Senate Energy Committee & House Natural Resources Committee Visted ONPA

A team from the US Congress Senate Energy Committee and House Natural Resources Committee visited the ONPA on March 27, 2008. Team Leader Mr. Allen Stayman explained the purpose of the visit. It is probably the first time for the US Congress to send two Committees on the same trip to FSM which should clearly signal the importance that US attaches to the successful implementation of the amended Compact particularly in terms of its financial assistance and programs. The US Congress has been reading many reports on Compact implementation including the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) reports. But this time, the US Congress wanted to send its own senior staffs to have first-hand observation and meeting with FSM officials. The team would then report back to the US Congress on their findings regarding Compact implementation.

The team members included Mr. Allen Stayman, Majority Staff, Senate Energy Committee, who was formerly the US chief negotiator for the amended Compact; Mr. Joshua Johnson, Minority Staff, Senate Energy Committee; Mr. Richard P. Stanton, Republican Staff Director, Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs; and Mr. Brian Modeste, Counsel, Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs. The team was accompanied by Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs staff Mr. Victor Hobson Jr. from the US Embassy in Kolonia and Ms. Jane Chigiyal from FSM Department of Foreign Affairs.

The team stated that based on GAO assessments, the FSM Government is plagued with poor management and planning which lead to waste of resources. Most problems in FSM result from bad decisions. The FSM Governments have to implement strong and effective monitoring mechanisms on Compact implementation and FSM performance. The amended Compact also emphasized effective auditing and fiscal control mechanisms.

The Team was receptive and appreciative of learning the operations of the ONPA, and emphasized to Public Auditor Mr. Hainrick the importance of running a strong and effective audit office to safeguard the resources of the FSM Governments.

Mr. Hainrick expressed his appreciation to the team especially for sharing the US 's perspective on the FSM's current efforts in implementing the financial provisions and other requirements of the amended Compact.


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