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GAO questions regional cost estimates

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Government Accountability Office is questioning the accuracy of cost estimates associated with providing services to compact migrants in Hawaii, Guam and the CNMI.

According a report  released by the GAO examining the impact of the Compacts of Free Association, it states that for fiscal years 2004-2010 Hawaii, Guam and the CNMI reported more than $1 billion in costs associated with providing education, health and social services t compact migrants. That figure is in far excess of the $210 million in compact impact grants over that time period. 

The GAO however suggests the cost estimates contain a number of limitations with regard to accuracy, adequate documentation and comprehensiveness, which in turn affects its credibility.

The report made note of guidelines developed in 1994 by the Department of the Interior for reporting compact impact, and the fact that several reporting local government agencies as well as DOI officials themselves weren't even aware of them and had not used them.

You can read the GAO report here: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-773T

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