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Saturday, April 19, 2014

OIA’s Babauta here Friday for assistance opportunities

U.S. Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta will be meeting with CNMI officials and private sector representatives on Friday mainly on education and technical assistance opportunities.

Press secretary Angel Demapan said yesterday that Gov. Benigno R. Fitial will join Babauta in meeting with different groups “regarding technical assistance opportunities for eligible non-government organizations.”

Babauta, as well as Fitial, will also be meeting with Public School System officials for a briefing on the Assessment of Buildings and Classrooms, or ABC, Initiative, Demapan said.

The initiative aims to assess the status of public schools in four U.S. territories: the CNMI, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

“The ABC initiative aims to develop a thorough baseline inventory and assessment of all elementary, middle and high school buildings, which will ultimately help the territory determine what kind of repairs and construction need to be done and how many federal dollars will be allocated for such improvements,” Demapan added.

The initiative follows an OIA report titled “U.S. Insular Areas Education Facility Inventory and Condition Assessment Study (Phase I).”

OIA has contracted the Army Corps of Engineers to generate a report that provides a rudimentary, initial assessment of public schools throughout the territories.

Babauta will be coming from Guam, where he presented an initial Guam Energy Assessment Report produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory under the direction of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs.

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