29 Mar 2006

American Samoan school lunch programme payment criticised

3:58 pm on 29 March 2006

The Director of American Samoa's School Lunch Programme has criticised an advance payment made to a local company to supply 40,000 pounds of fish fillet for the programme.

Dr. Levine Tupe says he was not aware of the 82,000 US dollar advance payment until it was publicised by the media.

Normally, vendors of the School Lunch Programme receive payment after the goods have been delivered, but in this case, LACJ, a first time vendor for the programme, received full payment for the order two months before it delivered the goods.

The funds were released without written authorization from either the Department of Education or the Treasury.

Dr Tupe has written to the Chief Procurement Officer, who authorised the payment , reminding him that the School Lunch Programme has been designated high risk by the United States Department of Agriculture and it is essential that funding regulations are followed.