FSM looks forward to outcomes of Forum Compact peer review

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) looks forward to the lessons that will come out of the Peer Review currently being conducted in the country under the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination (Forum Compact).

The Government of the FSM is the 9th Forum Island Country that has volunteered for a peer review of its national development planning, budgeting, public financial and aid coordination processes and systems.

The FSM has also specifically requested that in recognition of the pressing challenges facing the country, thattheir Peer Review team should also consider the suitability of the existing policy environment for promoting private sector development.

Selected by the FSM Government, the FSM Peer Review Team consists of Mr Catolina Kijiner from the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Ms Noumea Simi representing the Government of Samoa, Mr Johnson Naviti of the Vanuatu Government and Mr Asif Chida from the UNDP Pacific Centre in Fiji. The Team is assisted by staff of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

In a meeting with the Peer Review Team in the FSM capital Palikir, Ms Evelyn Adolph, the Director of the Office of Statistics, Budget and Economic Management, Overseas Development Assistance and Compact Management (SBOC) said the Government of the FSM was working together with the team. “We’re looking forward to not only working with the team, but we look forward to the results and outcomes of the consultations, but more importantly, for the lessons that will assist us to improve our processes in development coordination,” said Ms Adolph.

She acknowledged that FSM is behind in aligning its aid coordination processes to international good practices when compared to other countries in the region.

“But we have undertaken certain restructuring within government with the creation of an Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) Division and the drafting of an aid coordination policy. This Peer Review process is therefore timely,” said Ms Adolph.

The FSM Peer Review Team is consulting with representatives of government departments, non-government organizations, the private sector and development partners in Pohnpei and is now visiting the other states of Chuuk, Kosrae and Yap.

At the end of the consultations, the Peer Review Team will produce a report which will include recommendations for the FSM government and its development partners. The report will be released after endorsement by the Government of FSM.

The FSM consists of 607 islands that are grouped into four states, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap. Financial assistance of US$80m a year under the Compact of Free Association arrangement with the United States, which decreases by $800,000 per year since 2008(transferred to the FSM Trust Fund), is the primary source of external revenue for the country supported by revenue from fishing licenses and tax collection.

The financial assistance under the Compact will end in 2023 but other US funding under US Federal Grants which is estimated to be between US$30 million and US$50 million a year will continue. The FSM is the ninth country to undertake the Forum Compact peer review process after Nauru, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Niue, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tonga and Papua New Guinea since the Compact was endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2009.

ENDS.

For media enquiries contact Mr Johnson Honimae, the Forum Secretariat’s Media Office on phone 691 9248325 or email: johnsonh@forumsec.org.fj

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