Colonia, Yap, September 9, 2023 – The FSM’s Chief Executive Council (CEC), joined by the presiding officers of FSM Congress and State Legislatures, convened in Yap from September 7-8 2023. This convening follows up on their last convening that was held in Pohnpei back in July.
The convening of the CEC, plus the presiding officers, aimed to continue to jointly review and discuss the path forward on coming to a consensus on the distribution formula of funds from the 2023 Amended Compact of Free Association between the National and State Governments, after the decision was to deferred to September to be made in Yap, at the first CEC plus presiding officers meeting in July.
Following the transfer of the Chairmanship from President Simina to T.H. Governor Charles Chieng of Yap, the meeting took place over the course of two days, beginning with talks in a formal round table setup in the SBDC conference room on the first day, with talks continuing in a retreat format at a traditional Yapese community house in the village of Arngel on the second day.
The principals representing their respective states included T.H. Governor Reed B. Oliver and T.H. Speaker Marvin Yamaguchi of Pohnpei State; T.H. Governor Tulensa Palik and T.H. Speaker Semeon J. Phillip of Kosrae State; T.H. Governor Alexander Narruhn, T.H. President of the Senate Arno Kony and T.H. Vice Speaker Andrew May of Chuuk State; T.H. Governor Charles Chieng and T.H. Speaker Nicholas Figirlaarwon of Yap State; as well as T.H. Speaker Esmond Moses joining H.E. President Wesley Simina representing the national government.
The principals were given a briefing by Chief Negotiator Leo Falcam Jr. with an update on the Amended Compact negotiations, followed by a presentation on the proposed distribution formula by Kemsky Sigrah of the Compact Management Office, followed by a presentation by Acting Secretary Sos John of the Department of Finance & Administration, on the projections regarding revenue sharing of fishing fees, following the passage of the proposed constitutional amendment that called for revenue sharing of fishing fees between the national and state governments.
In light of the information presented, the principals deliberated for two days on the way forward in regards to the distribution formula for the funds to be received from the 2023 Amended Compact of Free Association, and ultimately came to a consensus, in the spirit of unity, and adopted the Arngel Formula, named after the village where the leaders’ retreat took place.
As described in the joint Communiquè and Resolution No. 1, the Arngel Formula states that the National Government will be allocated 8% of the economic assistance package under the 2023 Amended Compact, and the States will contribute to this allocation according to the percentages of the distribution formula under existing law (Public Law No. 18-57).
The CEC and Presiding Officers adopted and signed the joint Communiquè and four relating Resolutions, including: Resolution No. 1: Agreement on the Arngel Formula for the 2023 Amended Compact Funding; Resolution No. 2: Regarding Leaders’ decision adopting the Rules of Procedure for the Chief Executive Council; Resolution No. 3: Leaders’ expression of appreciation to Yap State’s hosting of CEC + PO; and Resolution No. 4: Leaders’ expression of appreciation and gratitude to His Excellency Wesley W. Simina and Speaker Esmond B. Moses for their leadership in the 2nd CEC+PO.