1 Feb 2006

American Samoa senators seek missing funds from hurricane settlement

11:17 am on 1 February 2006

The American Samoa government's account on the proceeds of the hurricane Val insurance settlement has a shortfall of more than $300,000 and Senators are seeking an explanation.

The account was set up in 2001 by the late governor Tauese Sunia to handle all money the government received from its lawsuit against FM Affiliated Insurance.

According to the summary of the insurance proceeds, the government received a total of 85.26 million US dollars in the settlement.

Since then the government has used the money for various purposes including the paying of outstanding debts and also as a funding source for new bills passed by the Fono.

The summary says the account has a shortfall of $374,465 as of December 31st 2005.

The American Samoa Senate is currently investigating the spending of this account, and Jack Kachmarik, manager of the Territorial Office of Fiscal Reforms has been subpoenaed to provide details.