5 Aug 2005

Lawmakers approve overtime payments for American Samoa police and fire fighters

10:16 am on 5 August 2005

Lawmakers in American Samoa has approved legislation appropriating $300,000 to cover unpaid overtime for police officers and fire fighters.

The government's Budget Office director, Magalei Logovi'i says the unpaid overtime goes back to 2001.

Magalei says there are officers whose overtime has already been paid out and those officers were well connected with the police commissioner at the time.

He said the commissioner would just write a letter verifying their overtime with no supporting documents.

Magalei said the overtime payment of selected officers is one of the problems found when financial audits were conducted for previous fiscal years.

He said the auditors called this "fraud" because these officers were getting paid without any supporting documents.

The budget director says they are now reviewing police logs and verifying unpaid overtime hours before making payment.