Minority leader calls on DOI for reports
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Thinking its long time the Department of the Interior lives up to its obligation to report annually on the adverse impacts the Compacts of Free Association have on the territory, Senator Frank Blas, Jr. is asking to review copies of Compact impact reports that are supposed to be submitted in May of every year to Congress. In a letter to Assistant Secretary of Interior for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta, the minority leader asks for copies of the reports and if none exist - which is what he believes is the case - an explanation why the mandate since 2003 has not been followed.
Blas contends the reports would've assisted Guam's case in seeking additional compact impact reimbursement, saying, "It would have been very helpful in congress determining what those reimbursements should be and why those reimbursements should come. If the Department of the Interior isn't submitting the reports and Congress isn't getting them, no wonder why we're not getting the proper reimbursements."
Blas adding the reports are part of the law and that money could be used to pay tax refunds and other obligations of the government.