Interior Funds Initiatives to Develop Financial and Leadership Capacity in Pacific and Virgin Islands

4/10/2019
Last edited 11/30/2020

Tanya Harris Joshua 202-208-6008

Tanya_Joshua@ios.doi.gov

Photo of Participants in Palau leadership training
Participants in Palau learn process improvement through a hands-on exercise from PITI-VITI Instructor Brian Elms, former director of Denver’s Peak Academy (February 2019). Courtesy photo.

WASHINGTON – Funded by U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), the Graduate School USA has completed the first quarter of the Pacific & Virgin Islands Training Initiatives (PITI-VITI) program for 2019. The goal of the program is to build leadership capacity, strengthen financial accountability, and support strong fiscal planning in the U.S. Territories - American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in the freely associated states - the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

During the first quarter of 2019, 4,412 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours were awarded to 280 participants from all seven island areas through formal classroom training. Additional consultative activities comprised over 4,080 contact hours for approximately 130 recipients. In total, 8,492 hours of training were delivered to approximately 410 participants.

“Sound financial planning and fiscal accountability will always be critical to good governance in successful, democratic societies,” said U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Doug Domenech. “We provide this training to help the U.S. territories and the freely associated states strengthen these important skills.”

First quarter PITI-VITI training focused on several ongoing issues that have emerged from dialogue with the Island Government Finance Officers’ Association (IGFOA) and the Association of Pacific Island Public Auditors (APIPA). These issues include fiscal planning, grants management, procurement, audit improvement, fixed assets, ethics, leadership, financial management information systems, innovation and process improvement, among others.

PITI-VITI’s first quarter training activities and workshops, with instructors, and location are listed below. Additional information on the Pacific & Virgin Islands Training Initiatives can be found on the PITI-VITI website

Funding for this program through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs Technical Assistance Program for the benefit of the U.S. territories and freely associated states also referred to as the U.S. Insular Areas.

Photo of training participants
A team of participants from Yap State Finance work with PITI-VITI Instructor Debbie Milks, CPA, on Yap’s Financial Management Information System (February, 2019). Courtesy photo.

January 2019 Workshops and Activities

  • The New Uniform Grant Guidance (Rykken) - Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)
  • Preparing for the Year-End Close in Government (Yamamura) - Pago Pago, American Samoa
  • Drafting RMI Procurement Regulations (Nakamura) - Majuro, RMI

February 2019 Workshops and Activities

  • Developing Corrective Action Plans (Yamamura) - Majuro, RMI
  • Practical Ethics for Government Employees (Yamamura) - Majuro, RMI
  • Executive Leadership Development Program (Pacific) Session III (Various Instructors) - Yap, FSM (as reported in a March 14, 2019 Department of the Interior press release).
  • Yap State Finance Office Consultations (Milks) - Yap, FSM
  • Customizing Report Writing using Fundware FMIS (Milks) - Yap, FSM
  • Innovation: Without Additional Resources, For Directors (Elms) - Koror, Republic of Palau (Palau)
  • Innovation Without Additional Resources (Elms) - Koror, Palau
  • Enhancing Finance Office Performance Measures (Milks) - Guam
  • CNMI Finance Office Consultations (Milks) - Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

March 2019 Workshops and Activities

  • Executive Leadership Development Program (USVI) Session III (Various Instructors) - Hampton, Virginia
  • Developing an RMI Fiscal Strategy (Sturton, O'Keefe) - Majuro, RMI
  • Fixed Assets, Performance Measures, and FMIS Planning (Milks, Arakaki) - Guam

The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

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