FSM National Government’s FY 2021 Budget Slimmer than Previous

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On September 29th, 2020, His Excellency David W. Panuelo—President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—signed into Public Law the budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, which began on October 1st, 2020.
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Due to the economic uncertainty posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the FY 2021 budget reflects a concerted effort to maintain the Nation’s capacity to provide essential services whilst ensuring that bureaucratic bloat is eliminated. Thus, while the FSM National Government’s FY 2021 budget is $63,760,476 (compared to $71,808,353 for FY 2020), FSM citizens will only see an increase in services through the retention of all contemporary Government programming and the development and implementation of the Office of Veterans Affairs.

The FSM National Government’s FY 2021 budget is $63,760,467. The Executive Branch’s FY 2021 budget includes $22,664,212 for its operations, which is approximately one and a half million dollars lower than the FY 2020 budget of $24,115,623. The Legislative Branch includes $5,745,625 for its operations, which is nearly two million dollars lower than the FY 2020 budget of $7,675,860. The Judicial Branch’s FY 2021 budget includes $1,549,969 for its operations, which is nearly two hundred thousand dollars lower than the FY 2020 budget of $1,724,023.

While the great bulk of the budget remains consistent with previous fiscal years to provide essential services to the Nation’s citizens, differences include funding the Office of Personnel (previously under the Department of Finance & Administration and the Office of the President respectively) as a separate standalone entity, so as to better empower the office to fulfill its mandate, as well as the development of a new Office of Veterans Affairs.

Other highlights in the budget include the appropriation of $13,823,696 for capital improvements, development programs, and human resources development. Beyond ongoing support to the College of Micronesia-FSM and the FSM Fisheries & Maritime Institute, the FY 2021 budget includes $661,713 for developing and implementing a National Social Indicators Survey, as well as $320,812 for the Localization of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the FSM, and $112,740 for “Assessment & Research to revive the [National Minimum Competency Test]”, historically the Nation’s primary means of meaningfully comparing primary and secondary school student performance in areas such as English and Mathematics.

In addition to the formal FY 2021 budget’s appropriation of resources for essential services, social protection programs which began during the COVID-19 Pandemic, such as the $16,000,000 FSM Economic Stimulus Package (i.e. the Tourism Sector Mitigation Fund), the $800,000 FSM Stranded Citizens Relief Fund, and the $36,000,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, remain ongoing.

Citizens affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic are encouraged to learn more about these social protection programs at https://dofa.gov.fm/



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