31 Mar 2011

Congressman believes American Samoa money woes are local issue

6:38 pm on 31 March 2011

American Samoa's member of the US Congress says the territory's struggle to balance its books is a local issue to be addressed by the Governor and the local leaders.

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin's comments follow the Governor Togiola Tulafono's announcement that public servants could lose their jobs if the Fono fails to pass other revenue generating bills.

He says the matter is not a federal government issue as it has provided the territory with federal grants and other helpful programmes.

"I don't know what happened in terms of how the local revenues have been assessed and I think this is probably where there may be a problem how we're able to calculate the amount of revenues collected to make sure that personnel, administrative costs are taken care of. And apparently there have been some problems in this regard."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin says the federal government has already provided millions of dollars in addressing the operations in some of American Samoa's Capital Improvement Projects.