WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today greeted and spoke about the Department's efforts to empower insular communities as Chief executives and Congressional leaders from each of the US insular areas gathered this morning for the 2012 Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA) meeting with senior-level representatives from over twenty Federal agencies to discuss issues concerning American Samoa (AmSam), the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam (GU), and the U.S Virgin Islands (USVI). The meeting was convened at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Interior Assistant Secretary Tony M. Babauta was joined by David Agnew, recently appointed by President Obama to serve as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and the White House IGIA co-chair. Also present at today's plenary session were Governors Togiola Tulafono (AmSam), Benigno Fitial (CNMI), Eddie Calvo (GU), John P. de Jongh; along with the Congressional delegation from the US Territories, Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (AmSam), Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen (USVI), Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (GU), and Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI).
Secretary Salazar presented Governor Togiola with an award commemorating his participation and contribution to the IGIA throughout his tenure as governor of American Samoa; Togiola is serving the last year of his second term as Governor of American Samoa.
The following grants were also awarded today:
- $20,000 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant to the Development Bank of American Samoa (DBAS) to continue recruiting MBA students as short-term consultants for facilitating improvements at DBAS.
- $250,000 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant for the American Samoa Department of Education to hire consultants to conduct an analysis of current processes and procedures.
- $10,089,000 in Capital Improvement Project grants for the following projects:
- Renovate the LBJ Delivery and OR Suite ~ $1,300,000
- ASCC Multipurpose Building ~ $1,700,000
- DOE School Furniture and Equipment ~ $200,000
- DOE School Buses ~ $200,000
- Tualauta Sewer System ~ $244,650
- Central Water System Improvements ~ $300,000
- New Service Wharf ~ $3,700,000
- Airport FAA 5% Match ~ $300,000
- Tafuna Correctional Facility Building ~ $1,600,000
- Su'igaula Utulei Park ~ $39,900
- LBJ Operations and Maintenance Set-Aside ~ $68,421
- ASCC Operations and Maintenance Set-Aside ~ $89,474
- ASG Operations and Maintenance Set-Aside ~ $317,889
- ASPA Operations and Maintenance Set-Aside ~ $28,666
- $1,000,000 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant for the CNMI Department of Public Safety to purchase fire trucks and ambulances.
- $250,000 Maintenance Assistance Program (MAP) grant for the CNMI Department of Public Safety to fund Fire Arson Investigative training as well as the EMS training for staff.
- $225,454 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant for the CNMI Public School System.
- $9,523,000 in Capital Improvement Project grants for the following projects:
- Saipan Water Projects ~ $4,532,250
- Garapan Revitalization ~ $ 1,350,000
- Saipan Solid Waste ~ 1,260,000
- Tinian Landfill ~ 1,190,375
- Rota Landfill ~ 1,190,375
- $933,052 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant for the Department of Revenue and Taxation to purchase and install an IBM I Series Power 7 Server.
- $600,000 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant for the Department of Revenue and Taxation to purchase and implement the Meta Tag Document Management System.
- $4,806,000 in Capital Improvement Project grants for the following projects:
- Port Authority of Guam's Gregorio D. Perez Marina Renovations ~ $2,500,000
- Guam Waterwork Authority's Asan Spring Rehabilitation ~ $934,000
- University of Guam's Field House Renovations ~ $1,372,000
- TA award of $25,000 for the New American Samoa Procurement Rules Printing and Training. This will fund the printing of the new procurement rules written by the AS Office of Legal Affairs, as well as training for all three branches of government and the private sector.
- OMIP award of $50,000 to fund the Consumer Price Index Quality Assurance Review and Training. This will provide funding for a consultant to train data collectors and statistical staff on new techniques for improving calculations and maintaining quality assurance.
- TA award of $38,300 for Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services Cost Report Training for LBJ staff. This will fund training for department managers and finance staff that will equip them with skills and knowledge in collecting and filing proper documentation as well as preparing timely professional cost reports.
- OMIP award of $25,000 to fund the hospital's online medical library which will improve service and allow the staff to have access to a range of specialists and sub-specialists resources. It will also allow medical providers at the hospital to have immediate access to the full range of treatment options, peer reviewed research, and standards of care available online.
- OMIP award of $50,000 to go towards training staff, pending the formal proposal which we have not yet received.
- $200,000 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) Reimbursable Agreement with the National Park Service to document multiple historic structures on Hassel Island associated with the Napoleonic Wars harbor defenses of Charlotte Amalie.
- $175,000 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant to the Bureau of Internal Revenue to increase funding available to convert the excise tax program into AS40.
- $445,000 Technical Assistance Program (TAP) grant to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health for implementing a central cancer registry ($418,000) and to automate the Department of Health's Board licensing, credentialing and renewal processes ($27,000).
- $2,022,000 in Capital Improvement Project grants for the following projects:
- Christiansted Boardwalk Project ~ $1,000,000
- Main Street Enhancement Project Downtown Charlotte Amalie ~ $1,022,000