The Challenge of Enhancing Micronesian Self-Sufficiency

ID-83-1: Published: Jan 25, 1983. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the institutional capability of the Micronesian governments to plan and administer public-sector programs and services. GAO also reviewed the conditions and the operations and maintenance of the extensive public works programs.

Under its Micronesia trusteeship, the United States has encouraged the formation of constitutional governments, supported the growth of educational programs, expanded the access of people to modern medical care, and invested extensively in physical facilities as a requisite to economic development. Despite these efforts, the Micronesian governments continue to face serious obstacles to becoming more self-sufficient. Geographic, social, and public policy constraints have and continue to limit the growth of the private-sector economy. GAO found that government budgets exceed the capabilities of the economies to support them and remain dependent on U.S. funds. Although much progress has been made under a 5-year capital improvement program, it has been estimated that $100 million would be required to fund full-scope restoration. The operations and maintenance of Micronesia's capital improvements and support equipment lacks funds, technically capable professionals, qualified trade skills personnel, planning, and work control programs. As a result, most Micronesian facilities and equipment are deteriorating. Resources will continue to be limited, and Micronesia is experiencing public administration problems in financial and personnel management and human resource development. Enhancing these institutional capabilities will continue to require substantial technical assistance from multiple sources.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior, through the Office of Territorial and International Affairs, and in cooperation with the Governments of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, should, during the period before the trusteeship ends, develop an action plan to guide the provision of all U.S. and other technical assistance to the Micronesian governments.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior, through the Office of Territorial and International Affairs, and in cooperation with the Governments of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands should, during the period before the trusteeship ends, conduct a series of assessments of the technical assistance requirements of the Micronesian governments.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior, through the Office of Territorial and International Affairs, and in cooperation with the Governments of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, should, during the period before the trusteeship ends, identify what technical assistance is available and can be provided to the Micronesian governments by Interior, other federal agencies, international organizations, the private sector, and colleges and universities.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

 

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