Winter/Spring 2014 • Vol. XIX, No. 76
ACCOUNTABILITY IS THE ISSUE
On behalf of the International Midway Foundation (IMMF), I have contacted Florida Senator Marc Rubio) regarding USFWS’ mismanagement of the financial and historic aspects of the Midway Atoll. I have also contacted Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz (HI), who, in March 20, 2013, introduced S.619 which requested that the Secretary of Interior conduct a study to determine the feasibility of Midway Atoll becoming a unit of the National Park Service. The study also included other alternatives for the preservation, protection and interpretation of the site by Federal, State and other local government entities or private and non-profit organizations. The legislation, however, permits three years for the study to be completed. Given the urgency of the situation on Midway, the IMMF has suggested to Senator Schatz that a letter be sent to the Government Accountability Office GAO) requesting a study over a shorter period of time which includes the following:
- a financial audit of USFWS’ revenues and operating costs related to the management of Midway Atoll;
- an accounting of all buildings and structures that have been destroyed without due process as required in Public Law 106-113;
- information on any plans to destroy the remaining fuel tanks, to include justification and impact on tourism;
- the current status of Midway as an alternative emergency landing site for trans-Pacific flights, and what impact the destruction of the fuel tanks would have on this capability;
- documentation on whether the physical appearance of Midway Atoll, including areas on which the cable buildings, as well as other historic structures, were situated; and
- documentation on whether the Secretary of Interior has sought, or attempted to seek, the input of the International Midway Memorial Foundation as directed in Public Law 106-113.
I have also contacted Congressman John Duncan (TN), who introduced the Midway National Memorial Act in the House in 1999. His office has sent to the Secretary of Interior a letter requesting answers to the IMMF’s concerns about Midway Island. The Foundation has also received assistance from
Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX) who sits on the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. The Foundation is presently engaged with the staff of Congressman Rob Bishop’s office who
s the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, and has recommended that Congressman Bishop send a letter to the GAO requesting a study on USFWS’ administration of Midway Atoll. A decision on the recommendation is pending.
Last, but not least, on January 31, 2014, I requested through the Freedom of Information Act, a copy of USFWS’ latest financial audit on Midway. It is now eight weeks and the IMMF has not received any information. The IMMF will continue in its efforts on Capitol Hill to obtain information that will be useful in addressing USFWS’ mismanagement of Midway Atoll.
My manuscript America Knocks on the Wrong Door is presently being reviewed by the U.S. Naval
Chris and I wish everyone a Happy Easter.
JAMES M. D'ANGELO
M. CHRISTINE SIMS
1039 RAINBOW COURT
BRADENTON, FL 34212