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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Interagency Group on Insular Areas Meets for 2007 Plenary Session at Interior



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Washington, February 28:  Over eighty representatives of Federal agencies and four U.S. territories attended the 2007 plenary session of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas, which was led by Deputy Secretary P. Lynn Scarlett and moderated by Deputy Assistant Secretary David B. Cohen.  Participants included Governor Felix Camacho of Guam, Governor John de Jongh of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Governor Togiola Tulafono of American Samoa, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo of Guam, Congresswoman Donna Christian-Christensen of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Congressman Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa.

The agenda included new business items raised by the territories, work items in progress by Federal participants, and action items for the coming year.  Issues raised by territorial representatives included economic development, minimum wage policy, the planned military expansion on Guam, rum excise tax levels, visa issues, infrastructure financing, and local VA services in the CNMI.  Major General David Bice, USMC (ret.), Executive Director, Joint Guam Program Office, Department of the Navy; Mr. Glyn Davies, Deputy Assistant Secretary, East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Department of State; Mr. Jack Kalavritinos, Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services; and Mr. John McCarroll, Manager, Pacific Islands Office, Environmental Protection Agency, were featured speakers.

The meeting fulfills the requirement laid out in Executive Order 13299 for an annual plenary session.