26 Jul 2003

Chief Procurement Officer in American Samoa suspended

9:19 am on 26 July 2003

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono has placed the Chief Procurement Officer Faau Seumanutafa on administrative leave for 45 days, pending investigations.

Mr Seumanutafa is being investigated by the Task Force on White Collar Crime which is looking into the alleged violation of procurement laws.

The allegations stem from huge government contracts for the Department of Human and Social Services and the School Lunch Programme.

Both contracts were awarded to two companies - Samoa Wood Products and Naumati Import Export Distributors - that are both owned by Mr Seumanutafa's son, Leonard.

The Governor's office refused comment, and Deputy Director Pat Tervola will be the Acting Chief Procurement Officer.