GAO Delegation to Assess Compact-Impact Funding For Guam

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Guam – Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and Governor Eddie Calvo have announced that a delegation from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) will be on Guam this week to assess the adequacy of federal funds.

They are checking whether GovGuam is receiving enough funds to provide services to migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. 

The delegation will conduct a comprehensive study to evaluate the adequacy of current Compact-impact assistance, review past expenses associated with Compact-impact, and assess the quality of the reports associated with the direct and indirect impacts of Freely Associated States (FAS) citizens residing on Guam.

The fact-finding visit is a result of a joint-request made to the GAO during the 111th Congress by Congresswoman Bordallo as the previous Chairwoman of Subcommittee of Insular Affairs Oceans, and Wildlife; Congressman Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa; Congressman Neil Abercrombie and Congresswoman Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Congressman Gregorio Sablan of the CNMI; and Congressman Vic Snyder, Congressman John Boozman, and Congressman Mike Ross of Arkansas.

The Compacts of Free Association between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau authorize admission of their respective citizens into the United States and waives visa requirements applicable to other countries. The Congresswoman was successful in increasing Compact-Impact funding from 2004 to 2023 through the enactment of the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-188).

“The GAO delegation will evaluate the impact of migration from the Freely Associated States citizens living on Guam and other affected jurisdictions and will report back to the Congress on their findings.  The report will focus on the effectiveness of current federal resources aimed at assisting local governments with the costs associated with providing certain public services to FAS citizens,” said Congresswoman Bordallo.  “I am confident that the GAO report will help to assess the true impact of Compact migration.  I look forward to their report and recommendations, which will help us to make the case that Compact-impact assistance is inadequate for the affected jurisdictions.”

“Everyone agrees the money Guam receives to cover the impact for the costs related to the compacts of free association is less than what we need,” Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said.  “This fact-finding mission is a good step in the right direction to parity when it comes to compact-impact.  I want to thank Congresswoman Bordallo for requesting this work from the GAO.”