26 Jul 2006

American Samoa's Treasury gets tough on people writting bad cheques

1:43 pm on 26 July 2006

American Samoa's Treasury says it is taking a tough stance on individuals and businesses writing bad cheques to the government.

Treasurer Velega Savali says in June alone it was given bad cheques worth 19,000 US dollars.

Treasury's chief accounting officer, Ueli Tonumaipe'a, says a letter was sent out to people telling them they had 30 days to cover their cheques with cash payments.

However, he says some people have still done nothing, and Treasury will now start taking action against government employees.

"We are going to start doing a payroll deduction payable to ASG. We are going to take it straight from the employees cheques payroll. We were informed by our lawyer it is in the American Samoan government code that Treasury can do it."

He says Treasury will start collecting from individuals who owe money via court action, and he says it will withhold any money owed to businesses until the debts are settled.