Guam – Chief executives and Congressional leaders from each of the US insular areas gathered Tuesday afternoon in Washington D.C. for the 2011 Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA) meeting with senior-level representatives from over twenty Federal agencies to discuss issues of importance to American Samoa (AmSam), the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam (GU), and the U.S Virgin Islands (USVI).
In his opening remarks, Assistant Secretary Anthony M. Babauta thanked the governors and Members of Congress for attending and expressed this Administration’s commitment to ensuring the interagency collaboration is a fruitful and positive endeavor for the islands.
Assistant Secretary Babauta was joined by White House Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Nicholas Rathod who sat in for Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Ms. Cecilia Muñoz. Also present at today’s plenary session were Governors Togiola Tulafono (AmSam), Benigno Fitial (CNMI), Eddie Calvo (GU); along with the Congressional delegation from the US Territories, Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (AmSam), Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen (USVI), Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (GU), and Congressman Kilili Sablan (CNMI). Also in attendance were member of the Guam Legislature; Sens. Rory Respicio, Judith Guthertz, and Frank Blas Jr.
At the start of the meeting, Assistant Secretary Babauta presented the following grants to each of the Governors. In addition, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo accepted the return of 450 acres of former Navy property declared excess in 1996 with the passage of the Guam Excess Lands Act.
* Award of $229,000 for Regional Assistance Development to fund the University of Guam’s on the job training initiative and the maintenance of renewable energy equipment.
* Award of $42,727 to fund the Government of Guam’s 2nd Annual Forensic Science Symposium. The conference will focus on development of regional workforce, technical laboratory enhancements and accreditation, and certification of laboratory professionals.
* Award of $306,000 for the continuation of the Brown Treesnake interdiction Program through fiscal year 2011.
* Award of $105,260 to continue the CNMI Office of the Public Auditor education auditor/investigator training program with the Interior Department’s Office of the Inspector General.
* TA award of $25,000 for the New American Samoa Procurement Rules Printing and Training. This will fund the printing of the new procurement rules written by the AS Office of Legal Affairs, as well as training for all three branches of government and the private sector.
* OMIP award of $50,000 to fund the Consumer Price Index Quality Assurance Review and Training. This will provide funding for a consultant to train data collectors and statistical staff on new techniques for improving calculations and maintaining quality assurance.
* TA award of $38,300 for Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services Cost Report Training for LBJ staff. This will fund training for department managers and finance staff that will equip them with skills and knowledge in collecting and filing proper documentation as well as preparing timely professional cost reports.
* OMIP award of $25,000 to fund the hospital’s online medical library which will improve service and allow the staff to have access to a range of specialists and sub-specialists resources. It will also allow medical providers at the hospital to have immediate access to the full range of treatment options, peer reviewed research, and standards of care available online.
* OMIP award of $50,000 to go towards training staff, pending the formal proposal which we have not yet received.
* USVI Schneider Regional Medical Center – TA award of $51,033 for the Hemodialysis Unit operation upgrade. This will fund the hiring of a consultant to train the staff in the correct operating procedures for the Unit needed for patients with end-stage renal disease.
* USVI Schneider Regional Medical Center – TA award of $45,000 for Nursing Boot Camp Training. This will fund 30 SRMC nursing staff managers to participate in the Nursing Boot Camp Manager Program. This will improve the managers’ skills in effectively leading their staff, as well as in budgeting, project management, and policy analysis.
* USVI Marine Research and Education Center – Coral Reef award of $289,000. JICMS is a consortium of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, University of the Virgin Islands, University of South Carolina, and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. OIA and the National Park Service have partnered with the JICMS to build the MREC.