DOI Office of Insular Affairs proposes $9.3MIL in CIP funds for territory
American Samoa is being allocated just over $9 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding as well as its annual allocation for government operations of over $22 million, under the fiscal year 2015 proposed budget for the Office of Insular Affairs, according to an OIA news release.
Yesterday the U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced in Washington D.C. the department’s proposed FY 2015 budget of $11.9 billion — which includes OIA’s budget proposal of $678 million. FY 2015 begin Oct. 1, 2014.
According to the OIA news release, President Barack Obama’s proposed OIA budget will empower U.S.-affiliated insular communities by “encouraging economic activity, building governmental capacity, improving quality of life, and promoting good governance.”
The budget request includes $92.2 million in annual appropriations and $585.9 million in permanent and indefinite appropriations for fiscal payments mandated by law to U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, it says.
Acting Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Lori Faeth says the budget request demonstrates Obama’s continued commitment to the U.S. insular areas.
“In the face of fiscal austerity, the President’s proposal will enable OIA to continue to work toward building local government capacity, including skills, training, and education, and leverage resources in order to improve the quality of life in insular communities,” she said.
The budget request includes $61.2 million to address a variety of technical assistance and operational programs in the U.S.-affiliated island communities, said OIA.
Within this amount, the 2015 budget makes noteworthy investments of $3 million to pursue sustainable energy strategies; $2.9 million primarily focused on school maintenance; $17.5 million to support improvements in insular area government management; and $22.8 million to support the operations of the American Samoa Government, said OIA.
It also says that $27.7 million proposed for CIP is to create economic opportunity in U.S. territories and improve the quality of life in those communities. Of the total CIP amount, American Samoa is scheduled to receive $9.3 million; CNMI with $9.6 million; Guam with $5.8 million; and the U.S. Virgin Islands, $3.1 million.
OIA is expected to release soon the Budget Justification document, which outlines specific details of CIP funds, and other funds for the territories.