7 Jul 2006

American Samoa watch dog says session on political status should be public

3:15 pm on 7 July 2006

The watch dog group, Common Cause American Samoa has called on the government appointed Political Status Study Commission to open its current sessions to the public.

The commission has been hearing testimony on the territory's future from cabinet members and other officials without allowing the news media or the public in.

In a letter published in today's Samoa News, Common Cause president Dr. Trudie Sala asked the the commission to reconsider its closed door policy and open the hearings to the public.

She says Common Cause is well aware of pending community hearings, but the group believes transparency in government must begin with open sessions that the public can attend.

She says interest in the subject is monumental and all sessions should be open so that vital questions can be raised when community hearings are held.