September 12, 2014
News Update
Economic growth has been flat
The construction industry in the Marshall Islands has hit lean times the past two years, significantly reducing the country’s gross domestic product, according to a report issued last month. Economic growth has been flat the past two years, but the anticipated injection of $22 million in stalled US Compact funding could, with fisheries revenue, bump economic growth to four percent — the country’s highest rate of growth in years, said the 2014 Economic and Fiscal Forecasting Framework produced by Graduate School USA. “Construction is the major driving force to the end of the amended Compact (in 2023),” said the report. But for the past two years, the majority of US funding has been held up, negatively impacting the local economy and job creation.
Read more about this in the September 19, 2014
edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.
To subscribe to the Journal, email the Journal at:
Myo's message
Six-year-old Ejit Elementary first grader Keslynna Myo Sibok was confident and didn’t miss a beat when she took microphone in hand to speak to RMI and US leaders and a large crowd at the first national climate change forum in Marshall Islands High School’s gymnasium Tuesday. Myo urged the older generation to take action, stating that what leaders decide today will affect her, her brother and See more

link to MediSource
an issue
Criticism of Majuro hospital’s handling of orders is increasing, both on social media and directly to the Journal, in large part from Ministry of Health staff. Some hospital staff are also criticizing what they claim is hospital orders being directed to local business MediSource, which is run by Secretary Julia Alfred’s husband, Sandy. But Alfred called these complaints a “continued vendetta against me. Since I’ve come on board I’ve received so much resistance from a couple of people who continue to undermine the changes my leadership team is trying to put in place to correct our procurement system.” The problems in the procurement system at Majuro hospital were on display this week, with postings on Facebook by current and former Ministry of Health … See more

A person who was found guilty of helping steal $14,820 from a Ministry of Health US federal grant was sentenced to serve three years in jail and pay restitution of $4,600 — but because the individual is female, the sentence is anticipated to be relegated to “house arrest.” The $4,600 represents her position with co-conspirators included. Former Majuro hospital staff person Catalina Chee was sentenced by Chief Justice Carl Ingram following a week-long trial in July. He had found her not guilty of two of the 10 counts she was facing, and guilty of two counts each of cheating, forgery, misconduct in public office and conspiracy. Attorney John Masek defended Chee, while Assistant Attorney General Yolanda Lodge-Ned prosecuted the case. “The theft calls into question the government’s ability to manage needed money from donor countries, including its principal donor, the United States of America,” said Ingram in his order. He also noted that the defendant, “has not shown any remorse for the crimes she committed and damage she has caused.” She was found guilty of conspiring with others by falsifying and forging procurements documents, obtaining and cashing a government check for $14,820 “for goods they never delivered or intended to deliver.” Ingram sentenced Chee to the maximum five years for several of the counts, but directed that she serve three years with the final two years suspended in favor of probation. She was ordered to pay restitution to the government of $4,600 by August 15, 2017. Ingram noted in his order that if Majuro jail facilities are not suitable for women, she could be placed under house arrest. The terms of house arrest is she is not to leave her house in Small Island without permission of a parole officer except when necessary to obtain emergency medical treatment for herself or a member of her family.
74 workers to lose jobs, $80M for RMI in '98 A lean fiscal year 1998 budget of $80.5 million was introduced into Nitijela Thursday by Finance Minister Ruben Zackhras. A total of 74 workers are to be cut on October 1 . . . See more