The U.S. insular area of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a self-governing commonwealth of the United States that comprises 14 islands in the North Pacific. In a December 2006 report--U.S. Insular Areas: Economic, Fiscal, and Financial Accountability Challenges (GAO-07-119)--regarding four insular areas including CNMI, GAO identified and reported the following: (1) economic challenges, including the effect of changing tax and trade laws on their economies; (2) fiscal condition; and (3) financial accountability, including compliance with the Single Audit Act. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, which requested the December 2006 report, asked GAO to present and discuss the results as they pertain to CNMI. Our summary and conclusions are based on our work performed for our December 2006 report on U.S. insular areas. For this testimony we also had available CNMI's fiscal year 2005 audited financial statements, which we have included in our review, along with some recent developments in fiscal year 2006.
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