Pursuant to Executive Order 13537 of 14th April 2010, the Inter-Agency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA) addresses issues related to US relations with four of the five territories under their administration. The IGIA is co-chaired by the White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Interior, and is comprised of representatives of various US federal agencies. The elected governors of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the US Virgin Islands attend the annual meeting in Washington, D.C. A separate task force chaired by the White House handles issues related to the fifth and most populated US dependency of Puerto Rico.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chief executives and Congressional leaders from each of the US insular areas gathered this afternoon 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 Christensen (USVI), Congresswoman Madeleine 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.
US federal agency presentations at the 2011 session included:
2010 Census and Rollout for the Territories;
Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) and Bureau of Economic Analysis collaboration to collect GDP data for the territories;
OIA/NREL Initiatives in the Pacific Territories and Energy Initiatives in the Virgin Islands;
Small Business Administration;
Health and Human Services on the Health Care Reform Act;
Education on ARRA Funding – Status of Awards and Projects;
Maritime Cabotage in the Territories;
DHS Implementation of Federal Immigration Law in the CNMI;
USDA Rural Development Models for Economic Development
Functions of the Inter Agency Group on Insular Areas
(Executive Order 13537)
Sec. 2. Functions of the IGIA. The IGIA shall:
(a) advise the President on establishment or implementation of policies concerning the Insular Areas;
(b) solicit information and advice concerning the Insular Areas from the Governors of, and other elected officials in, the Insular Areas (including through at least one meeting each year with any Governors of the Insular Areas who may wish to attend) in a manner that seeks their individual advice and does not involve collective judgment, or consensus advice or deliberation;
(c) solicit information and advice concerning the Insular Areas, as the IGIA determines appropriate, from representatives of entities or other individuals in a manner that seeks their individual advice and does not involve collective judgment, or consensus advice or deliberation;
(d) solicit information from executive departments or agencies for purposes of carrying out its mission; and
(e) at the request of the head of any executive department or agency who is a member of the IGIA, with the approval of the Co-Chairs, promptly review and provide advice on a policy or policy implementation action
affecting the Insular Areas proposed by that department or agency.
Sec. 3. Recommendations. The IGIA shall:
(a) submit annually to the President a report containing recommendations regarding the establishment or implementation of policies concerning the Insular Areas; and
(b) provide to the President, from time to time, as appropriate, recommendations concerning proposed or existing Federal programs and policies affecting the Insular Areas.