4 May 2010

American Samoa senator queries Sili repair funding

6:50 pm on 4 May 2010

A senator in American Samoa is trying to find out why the government used money from the Disaster Recovery Program to pay a repair bill for the vessel, the MV Sili, when the Fono already appropriated funds for this purpose.

Lualemaga Faoa said last week's payment by the government for repairs of 75,000 US dollars came from the Disaster Recovery Program instead of the Territorial Office for Fiscal Reform.

Our correspondent Monica Miller says the senator has been following the discussions between the MYD Samoa shipyard and the government,

"The $1.3 was approved early in the year, I think it was in January that the fono approved the 1.3 million dollars and so funds were drawn down from the off island account to pay for the MV Sili repairs. Now the shipyard has presented bills totalling more than $900,000 dollars."

The MV Sili failed a recent inspection by the coastguard, which says more work is needed for the vessel to be certified.