Palau Sessional Legislation
SEVENTH OLBIIL ERA KELULAU
RPPL No. 7-15
Ninth Special Session, August 2005
(Re. as Senate Bill No. 7-85, SD2, HD1, CD1)
To establish a Compact of Free Association Review Commission and for other related purposes.
THE PEOPLE OF PALAU REPRESENTED IN THE OLBIIL ERA KELULAU DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Legislative findings. The Compact of Free Association with the United States of America needs to be reviewed by the year 2009. By the year 2009, most of the funding that Palau receives will end. According to the Compact, there is a mandated 15-year review that needs to be conducted by Palau and the United States. It states, "[u]pon the fifteenth and thirtieth and fortieth anniversaries of the effective date of this Compact, the Government of the United States and the Government of Palau shall formally review the terms of this Compact and its related agreements and shall consider the overall nature and development of their relationship" (Section 432 of the Compact). The Olbiil Era Kelulau finds that now is the time to prepare for Palau's participation in the review process. The Republic of Palau needs to consider what the needs of the Republic are and how these needs can be addressed during the Compact of Free Association review. This preparatory work to be conducted by the Commission will require, among other tasks, extensive economic analysis, social inquiry and analysis, environmental assessment and analysis, governance planning, and predictions about where Palau is headed. The Commission will also have to analyze the past decades of relations with the United States, coupled with other extraneous relations. A commission shall be established to review and make recommendations to the President of the Republic of Palau for the review of the Compact of Free Association with the United States.
Section 2. Compact commission established. There is established in the Republic of Palau a commission called the "Compact Review Commission". The Compact Review Commission ("Commission") shall be established as follows:
(a) Membership. The Commission shall be composed of nine (9) members as follows:
(i) five (5) members, all of whom shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of Palau with the advice and consent of the Senate of the Olbiil Era Kelulau. A member shall not have been convicted of any felony. A member shall have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited four year college or university. The President of the Republic shall nominate for appointment five (5) members within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this Act;
(ii) four (4) ex officio members, two (2) ex officio members from the Senate of the Olbiil Era Kelulau and two (2) ex officio members from the House of Delegates of the Olbiil Era Kelulau. The President of Senate shall appoint two senators to be ex officio members and the Speaker of the House of Delegates shall appoint two delegates to be ex officio members. The ex officio members shall be appointed within sixty (60) days after the effective date of this Act. An ex officio member shall remain as a member of the Commission as long as he or she is still a member of the Olbiil Era Kelulau. If an ex officio member is no longer a member of the Olbiil Era Kelulau, then a new ex officio member shall be appointed according to Section 2(a)(ii) of this Act; and
(iii) A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in accordance with Section 2(a) of this Act.
(b) Terms. Each member shall be appointed until the completion of the review with the United States of America. The Commission shall terminate at the end of the review with the United States of America, no later than January 1, 2008.
(c) Meetings and compensation. The Commission shall carry out all duties necessary to review the Compact of Free Association with the United States of America. The members who are not employed by the National Government or its agencies or by a state government are entitled to receive compensation at the rate of $50 for each day he or she performs the official duties or business of the Commission. The members who are employed by the National Government or its agencies or by a state government or its respective agencies shall be eligible to take "administrative leave" from their regular employment and be paid by their respective governmental employer while he or she performs the official duties or business of the Commission. Ex officio members shall not receive any compensation from the Commission while performing the official duties or business of the Commission. The members including ex officio members are also entitled to a per diem while traveling outside the territory of Palau, while performing official duties of the Commission, according to standard government rates.
(d) Commission organization. The Commission shall be organized by electing, by a majority vote, one of its members as chairperson. The chairperson shall appoint, when necessary, an acting chairperson to take his or her place in case of the chairperson's absence. The Commission shall hire a secretary to keep the minutes and records of the Commission. The hired secretary shall be compensated, as determined by the Commission, within the limits of the funds made available to the Commission by this Act and other acts. Any three (3) members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, and a concurrence of three (3) members shall be necessary for any official action taken by the Commission, unless otherwise provided herein. No vacancy in the membership of the Commission shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all of the rights and perform all of the duties and responsibilities of the Commission. The Commission shall first be convened within ten (10) working days after appointment and confirmation of all members.
Section 3. Commission duties and responsibilities. The Commission shall review the Compact of Free Association with the United States and report to the President of the Republic of Palau and to the presiding officers of the Olbiil Era Kelulau about the findings of such review before the termination of the Commission. The Commission shall have a period of twenty (20) months from the effective date of this Act to carry out its review process. The Commission during this period shall also make recommendations in its report of persons who are qualified and should be members of the COFA Negotiating Team for year 2009. The Commission's review and the names of persons shall be submitted in a report no later than twenty (20) months from the effective date of this Act. The Commission may take any legal steps and means necessary to carry out the review of the Compact of Free Association and to report its findings. The Commission shall cause to be published in a manner provided by the Commission a report showing the findings and recommendations regarding its recommendations for what Palau's position on the review of the Compact of Free Association with the United States should focus on. The report shall only be distributed to the President of the Republic of Palau and to the Olbiil Era Kelulau. After the review of the Compact of Free Association with the United States of America is completed or ended, the President of the Republic of Palau and the presiding officers of the Olbiil Era Kelulau may decide in what capacity and to what extent the report may be made public information.
Section 4. Executive Director. The Commission shall appoint an Executive Director to be its chief executive compact review officer. The minimum qualifications for the Executive Director shall include a four year college degree and a graduate degree, some experience in finance and international relations, and must not have been convicted of any felony. The Executive Director shall devote his or her full time to the business of the Commission. The Executive Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission and shall be compensated as determined by the Commission within the limits of the funds made available to the Commission by this Act and other acts.
Section 5. Attorneys and staff. The Commission shall receive the help from the following government lawyers: one lawyer from the Office of the President of the Republic of Palau, the Senate Legal Counsel, and the House of Delegates Legal Counsel. The attorneys shall advise the Commission and the Executive Director in all legal matters to which the Authority is a party or in which the Commission is legally interested, and may represent the Commission within the Republic of Palau or in a foreign nation. The Commission shall also have the help of the staff of the Office of the Legal Counsel of the President of the Republic of Palau, the staff of the Senate Legal Counsel, and the staff of the House of Delegates Legal Counsel. The Commission may also obtain the services of other attorneys, professionals, and technical and clerical staff as it deems necessary to carry out its duties and responsibilities, and provide for payment of all services rendered.
Section 6. Authorization. The sum of $250,000 is hereby authorized to be appropriated for expenditure and obligation for fiscal year 2006 for the Commission and its purposes of carrying out the provisions of this Act. The total amount authorized to be appropriated and is appropriated shall come from local revenues.
Section 7. Effective date. This Act shall take effect upon its approval by the President of the Republic of Palau, or upon its becoming law without such approval.
PASSED: February 17, 2006
Approved this 8th day of March, 2006.
Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr.
Republic of Palau