2 Oct 2006

American Samoa's Treasurer wants rise in customs fees

12:15 pm on 2 October 2006

American Samoa's Treasurer Velega Savali says he supports an increase in customs fees because government funds are being drained by overtime costs for customs employees.

He says overtime payments for the last fiscal year amounted to half a million dollars US dollars.

300-thousand of that came from the General Fund and 200-thousand dollars was paid by businesses.

Velega says customs fees have not been increased in nearly 30 years.

He says one way to avoid paying overtime is to hire additional staff and add another shift.

Velega says there could be a change in the law so that the port and airport are not 24 hour operations, but only open during regular business hours.