7 Sep 2006

Study shows American Samoa fono bypassed in spend-up

2:10 pm on 7 September 2006

An analysis of the American Samoa government's budget for the last five years by Senate staff shows that the executive branch has been spending millions of dollars in windfall revenues without Fono appropriation.

The report says the government received 96.2 million US dollar in windfall revenues during fiscal year 2001 to 2005.

Based on the figures supplied to the Legislature, the report said, at least 41.3 million dollars should still remain even after deducting the deficits of 11.6 million and 3.3 million for fiscal years 2005 and 2004 respectively.

In reality, according to figures collected by the Senate staff, expenditures exceeded revenues by 3.3 million.

On the expenditure side, the Senate report says government spending grew at the rate of 3.5 percent a year for the five years under review.

At the same time, actual revenues collected outpaced revenues projected for fiscal year 2005 by 18.3 percent.

There was insufficient information available to ascertain why spending climbed 22.9 percent between fiscal years 2001 and 2002.