5 May 2004

Legality of bank audit questioned in American Samoa

9:27 am on 5 May 2004

The attorney for the Development Bank of American Samoa, Fainauulelei Alailima Utu, is questioning the legality of a planned audit of the bank by the Territorial Audit Office.

Alailima Utu has informed Territorial Auditor, George Webster, that the bank agrees to a TAO audit that is lawful and reasonable, but he says the auditor's proposal to audit only loans to government officials and their families during the years 1998 to 2003 lacks both legal authority and reasonableness

He says the law does not appear to allow the Audit Office to target a certain group of customers and any audit must include all bank customers within the audited period.

He also says the planned audit is superfluous and repetitive, pointing out that the bank has already been audited by external auditors for the years 1998 to 2001.