28 Jun 2004

American Samoan governor being questioned over government spending

3:06 pm on 28 June 2004

The chairman of the American Samoa committee charged with investigating government corruption, is demanding answers from the governor over spending.

Senator Lualemaga E Faoa, chair of the Senate Select Investigative Committee, says he wants to know why governor Togiola Tulafono agreed to the government funding the remodelling of a house of a former governor's wife.

Togiola's statement that it was usual to pay for this has been disputed by relatives of former governors who say they've never received anything.

Lualemaga says he's written to the governor asking him to explain the spending and other issues.

"It appears that there is no authority or policy and these actions are not allowable under the laws of our territory. And, I wrote to the governor - please inform the SSIC what is his authority and basis for giving away government assets and vehicles, and calling it a typical government function."

Lualemaga says he's waiting for a response from the governor but he will consider issuing a subpoena if the answers are inadequate.