25 Nov 2004

American Samoan congressman criticises auditor's approach

2:02 pm on 25 November 2004

The American Samoan member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says the territorial auditor, George Webster, should try to work within the territory's confines.

Mr Webster has approached the U.S. Department of Interior over his concerns, saying he has a lack of enforcement powers, he cannot compel territorial departments to undergo audits and his office is totally dependent on the executive for funding.

But Faleomavaega says if Mr Webster is unhappy about what he can accomplish, he should step down.

"Whatever may be his personal persuasions but this does not give him the licence to go to federal agencies, in my opinion. I think he has gone way beyond the bounds of his authority as territorial auditor. Sure we have problems but for him to practically dictate as to what and how this thing should be done is way off base."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin