18 Mar 2009

American Samoa House of Reps told to stop wasteful budget spending on funerals

12:13 pm on 18 March 2009

American Samoa representative Galumalemana Bill Satele has called on House Speaker Savali Talavou ale and members to reconsider a practice which has been observed by the Fono for funeral contributions.

The representative said it was improper for the Fono to use Fono funds for their traditional presentations for the funeral of Paramount chief and Senator Tuitele Tony Tuitele.

He said he wanted individual members to make monetary contributions and pointed out that these are the type of expenses that lawmakers' own office expense allowances can be used for.

Galumalemana said its clear to him that the funeral donations are not included in the Fono budget and he pointed out this is the type of unbudgeted spending that members of the public are unhappy about.

The Tuala tai lawmaker reminded the House that members had questioned and were unhappy with pay increases for directors and warned that lawmakers risk being seen as hypocrites.