11 May 2005

American Samoa to improve accountability of US funds

8:13 pm on 11 May 2005

American Samoa is being called on to improve its accountability of the distribution and management of the US federal funds that it receives.

The powerful U.S. Appropriations Committee is putting pressure on the Department of Interior to designate the territory as high risk when it comes to grants.

This follows the committee's conditional approval of a grant to the territory of 23.1 million US dollars for its basic operations, which includes 2 million dollars for urgently needed medicines and supplies at the LBJ Medical Centre.

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says the US Congress is now expected to pass the grant on the recommendation but it's clear the appropriations committee has its concerns over the funding.

"The committe wants American Samoa to meet certain conditions to improve the accountability of the federal funds that it receives, in order for it to continue getting these funds."

Ms Miller says there is also expected to be a grant for capital funds announced shortly.