Wed. Apr 1st, 2020

Yap governor announces tighter control of funds

YAP, 23 MARCH 2020 (PACIFIC ISLAND TIMES)—Infrastructure projects and social programs in Yap will be reviewed by the national government to determine their eligibility for funding, according to Yap Governor Henry Falan.

Falan issued a memorandum titled “Policy and Directive on all Requests for CFSM, State and ODA Funds’ sent to all Yap state government departments, offices, and agency heads.

The memo, dated 06 March, stated that the state leadership supports the Yap State Executive Branch’s request for the Yap Congressional Delegation not to appropriate funds for infrastructure development projects and social programs unless the project proposals are reviewed by the executive branch and relevant offices to determine that they are in line with the state’s priority projects and programs as contained in the master plan.

The memo cites the recent audit conducted by the FSM national public auditor that corroborates the Yap state public auditor’s report on funds appropriated by the FSM Congress for those same types of projects, and states “that numerous funding for local community projects did not meet certain policy directions of not only the State of Yap but of other states within the federation.”

In addition, according to the audit report, “the findings are due in part by community members directly approaching” the Yap Congressional Delegation to solicit funds “without the consultation and advice of state leadership in most, if not all, of the States, including Yap.”

The infrastructure projects and social programs funded by the FSM Congress, Falan further notes in the memo, “were not mostly based on national and state strategic development plans or state-approved infrastructure priority plans..”

In fact, he states, “current funded project proposals and programs which are approved for funding under the CFSM appropriations did the opposite and did little to address social, economic and environmental needs that are specific to each state.”

The governor laid out the criteria in the directive that must be followed for proposal submissions “to ensure that community members seeking funding are doing so in full collaboration with the state government.”

Among the criteria that must be adhered to leading up to the governor’s approval and signature are a petition of 20 or more signatures supporting the need for the project in the community; evidence of the need for the project; a solicitation letter addressed to the governor and signed by the Municipality Chief and village Chief and the group leader; a list of detailed in-kind contributions to the community or group such as a land easement, labor or monetary donations; blueprints, concept drawings or floor plans; a list of materials including cost and labor; a track record of success to ensure the group or community has completed a previous project successfully; and a maintenance plan for when it is completed.

“These requirements,” Falan said, “are not meant to deter or discourage groups or community members from seeking assistance from the state, national government, and any other donor and development partners, but rather as a mechanism to ensure that the intentions and good faith of each project serve not only individual groups, or communities, but serves a collective and holistic approach and, based on an approved priority plan for the State, has sufficient funds to complete such projects and the project sustainability and feasibility.”