6 Mar 2006

American Samoan Senate to consider options over governor's spending

4:26 pm on 6 March 2006

The American Samoan senate is take advice on whether it can pursue legal action over spending by the governor, Togiola Tulafono.

This follows the publication of a treasury report last week which showed that most of a 10 million U.S. dollar congressional appropriation had already been spent by the administration without the fono's knowledge or approval.

All except 2.3 million dollars of the money had been allocated to a variety of projects, including the purchase of a vessel for the Manu'a's, and a government plane.

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says the Senate president also believes the appropriation was intended for job creation so he has added concerns over where the funding went, and wants action taken.

"What is happening is that the Senate legal counsel is going to be appearing before the Senate, and basically he is going to tell or answer questions about what recourse the Senate has. And, judging from what was said on Friday, that Senators want to take this matter to court."

Ms Miller says it appears the constitution was breached by the governor in spending without fono knowledge or approval.