Governor Torres formally establishes the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers, replacing the Strategic Economic Development Council

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2020-11

SUBJECT:     REORGANIZATION OF THE STRATEGIC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (SEDC)

WHEREAS, the quality of life of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is linked to the vitality and strength of the islands’ economy; and

WHEREAS, the CNMI has incredible potential to grow and provide greater services to the people through sustainable use of geographic location, resources, and natural beauty; and

WHEREAS, the economic future of the CNMI depends on the growth and retention of its private sector, the development of new businesses and industries and the ability to adapt and grow competitive in the global economy; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has a commitment and an obligation to improve the quality of life for all of its residents; and

WHEREAS, the CNMI seeks greater economic stability and growth through continued collaboration with the business sector

WHEREAS, the long-term interests of all residents of the CNMI would be best served through the continuation of the substantive dialogue relating to the CNMI economy; and

WHEREAS, the functions, duties, and authority of the current Strategic Economic Development Council (SEDC) can be improved for the benefit of the CNMI population.

NOW THEREFORE I, RALPH DLG. TORRES, Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, do hereby order the abolishment of the Strategic Economic Development Council and establish, within the Executive Branch, the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers, with the following structure and goals:

Representation

The Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers (Council) shall be co-chaired by the Governor or his designee and a representative of the business sector chosen by the Governor.

Membership to the Council shall be appointed at the Governor’s discretion.

The Governor shall appoint members from various government and non-government sectors, and backgrounds to represent the composition of the CNMI economy.

Members to the Council will serve as Economic Advisers to the Governor at no expense to the CNMI Government.

The Office of the Attorney General shall serve on the Council as legal counsel and resource for the Council’s functions.

Members of Council shall be removed at the discretion of the Governor or by a vote of the Council members

Executive Director

The Governor shall appoint an individual to serve as Executive Director of the Council who shall be responsible for the administration of this directive.

The Executive Director shall serve without compensation for the duration of his or her appointment by the Governor.

The Executive Director will report to the co-chairs of the Council and provide strategic direction for the Council’s duties.

Council Charge

The Council shall be advisory to the Governor and its responsibilities shall include, but are not limited to:

1.                  The formulation of policy initiatives to encourage economic growth, provide for the prudent and responsible management of the economy, and the alleviation of barriers toward business development and growth.

2.                  Providing recommendations to the Governor on issues relating to the administration of the Executive Branch and its departments and agencies.

3.                  Assisting the Office of Planning and Development, under the Office of the Governor, in the creation of the CNMI Comprehensive Sustainable Development Plan.

4.                  Serving as counsel to the Governor on the status of the economy and its forecasted direction

5.                  The creation of detailed reports to advance policy initiatives beneficial to the CNMI economy

6.                  The convening of Council meetings at least once every three (3) months

7.                  Review all proposed regulations pertaining to increases in business fees and rules that affect the functioning of the economy and provide analysis of the proposed impact to the private sector

Council Authority

I hereby authorize the Council to perform their charge with the following powers and conditions:

1.     The Council shall have access to department and agency heads for the purpose of fulfilling their duties under the following conditions:

a.     The Council co-chair shall write the relevant department or agency of the CNMI Government of the request for information or consultation and provide a copy of this request to the Office of the Governor

b.     The department or agency of the CNMI government shall respond to requests by the Council with the requested information within ten (10) working days

2.     At the request of the Council, department or agency heads shall be present at the convening of meetings related to the mandates and responsibilities of the Council, under the following conditions:

a.     Requests for participation in Council meetings shall be made in writing to the relevant department or agency head ten (10) working days in advance

b.     The issues for discussion shall be provided by the Council in advance of the scheduled meeting

c.     Inability of a department or agency head to be present at the request of the Council shall inform the Council co-chair and the Office of the Governor in writing of the reasons for the inability to participate

Direction to CNMI Government Departments and Agencies

I direct all departments and agencies of the CNMI Government to fully support and cooperate with the Council and its Executive Director in the performance of this directive.

Furthermore, all proposed regulations pertaining to increased fees or proposed regulations that will impact operations of the private sector shall be provided to the Council prior to publication in the Commonwealth Register.

SIGNED AND PROMULGATED ON THIS 19th day of May, 2020.

/s/

RALPH DLG. TORRES

Governor

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CNMI Cannabis Commission launches

With the publishing of the certification and adoption of proposed rules and regulations of the CNMI Cannabis Commission (Commission), the Commission announces the official launching of applications for the commercial Cannabis Licenses and noncommercial Homegrown Marijuana Registry.

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