FSM Constitutional Convention sues FSM Department of Finance for payment of two delegates

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

 

March 19, 2020

FSM—The Fourth Constitution Convention of the FSM (Con Con) has filed a complaint (CA 2020-004) at the FSM Supreme Court against Eugene Amor in his official capacity as the Secretary of Finance and Administration.  The ConCon asks the court to require Amor to authorize payment for daily allowances for two delegates he has so far refused to pay.

The complaint says that according to FSM law, delegates who are not getting paid by the national government or a state government during the session for the Constitutional Convention are entitled to a daily allowance of $200 per day of attendance.  On February 20, Secretary Kapilly Capelle submitted a request to the Secretary of Finance for all eligible delegates of the Con Con to be paid and included Roll Call Attendance sheets as documentation. On February 25 Secretary Amor let Capelle know he would not authorize payment for Chuuk Representatives Kind K. Kanto and Tendy Liwy because they are employees of the College of Micronesia FSM and as such were employees of the National Government.

After Con Con President Redley Killion wrote a letter to FSM President David Panuelo requesting that he instruct his Secretary of Finance to make the payment since FSM law explicitly states that COM-FSM employees are not National Government employees, he received a letter from an FSM Assistant Attorney General saying that COM-FSM employees are in fact employees of the national government.

Both COM-FSM legal counsel and Chief legal counsel to the Con Con sent letters quoting the law to the Assistant Attorney General specifically stating that COM-FSM employees are not FSM National Government employees.

The Con Con is asking the Court make a ruling on the matter declaring that the delegates should be paid.

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