Office of Insular Affairs Announces FY 2008 Budget Request
President Bush has proposed an FY 2008 budget of $403.8 million for the Office of Insular Affiars (OIA), of which $79.8 million is in current appropriations. This is $425,000 below the 2007 Continuing Resolution and $560,000 above the President's FY 2007 budget request.
Programs funded under the FY 2008 Budget Request will continue long-term efforts throughout the territories and Freely Associated States. Over $200.0 million in Compact of Free Association Sector Grants will be included in the 2008 budget. More than $12.0 million will be requested for a variety of Technical Assistance programs, including ongoing efforts on Brown Tree Snake control, insular management controls, coral reef conservation, maintenance assistance, and water and wastewater projects. Other projects to be funded under the FY 2008 request include:
- $3.0 million to support the development of an undersea fiber-optic link to American Samoa.
- $3.7 million to support the closure of the Puerto Rico Dump on Saipan; the area is being redeveloped as a public park.
- $2.0 million to support the installation of an additional gantry crane at the Port of Guam.
- $2.8 million to support wastewater collection system upgrades throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.
This budget request includes a discretionary increase totaling $560,000. This includes an additional $200,000 to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, $352,000 for increases to fixed costs, and $8,000 for the expected transition to the Department's Financial and Business Management System. The remainder of the increase is for inflation adjustments to the permanent appropriations under the Compacts of Free Association between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Republic of Palau (Palau).
OIA carries out the Secretary's responsibilities for U.S.-affiliated insular areas. These include the territories of Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as the three Freely Associated States (FSM, RMI, and Palau).
All of OIA's programs fall within the mission goal of Serving Communities - Increase Self-Sufficiency of Insular Areas (Goal 5 of the Department of the Interior's Strategic Plan). The OIA has and will continue to achieve its mission by promoting sound financial management practices in the insular governments, encouraging private sector-led economic development, and increasing Federal responsiveness to the unique needs of island communities.