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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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The Office of Insular Affairs Requests $457.7 Million for Assistance to the Insular Areas In the President’s FY 2011 Budget Request

February 1, 2010
For more information please contact:
Frank Quimby (202) 208-6416
Tanya Harris Joshua (202) 208-6008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama has proposed a budget of $457.7 million for the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) in fiscal year 2011. The current appropriations request includes $59.3 million in discretionary funding and $27.7 million in mandatory funding. In addition, $370.8 million in permanent and indefinite appropriations is estimated for FY 2011 for fiscal payments and payments under the Compacts of Free Association.

"The Office will pursue strategies that foster economic development, lead to the adoption of renewable energy technologies, promote sound financial management in the insular governments, and improve the quality of life for islanders while respecting and preserving their native cultures," said Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta.

The $59.3 slated for discretionary programs under the FY 2011 budget request will address a variety of technical assistance and facilities maintenance programs in the U.S.-affiliated islands communities. Discretionary funding will also support efforts to control the invasive Brown Treesnake on Guam; assist coral reef conservation initiatives; support water and wastewater projects; help insular governments improve their management control; and support the operations of the American Samoa Government.

Permanent appropriations for FY 2011 include $146.0 million in payments to Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands and $224.8 million in Compact of Free Association payments to the Freely Associated States.  Guam is slated to receive $39.0 million in taxes collected in the territory via the IRS code that are transferred to the Government of Guam.  The U.S. Virgin Islands is scheduled to receive $107.0 million for federal taxes collected on distilled spirits in the territory that are transferred to the local government.
Permanent appropriation for the Freely Associated States which is mandated under the Compacts of Free Association includes $67.3 million for the Republic of the Marshall Islands and $105.8 million for the Federated States of Micronesia.  The 2011 budget also contains a placeholder in recognition of the ongoing review of the relationship between the U.S. and the Republic of Palau.   
New for 2011, OIA is requesting $5.0 million for the Empowering Insular Communities program.  This program is designed to 1.) Strengthen the foundations for economic development in the islands by addressing challenges preventing reliable delivery of critical services needed to attract investment; and 2.) Pursue economic development initiatives that encourage private sector investment in the insular areas.  In FY 2011, program funds may be used to address two critical public service delivery issues, upgrading civilian infrastructure on Guam in preparation for the military relocation and the creation and implementation of comprehensive renewable energy strategies in the insular areas.

The Office of Insular Affairs strives to empower insular communities so they can overcome inherent challenges to insular areas and seize upon opportunities as they arise.