19 Mar 2013

American Samoa public sector faces ten percent cut

2:35 pm on 19 March 2013

All departments and agencies of the American Samoa Government will be asked to take a 10 percent cut in their budgets for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

The governor's office says Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga is to issue a memo today ordering the reduction.

It is to offset a cut in Department of Interior funding for basic territorial government operations.

For the past several decades American Samoa has been receiving about 23 million US dollars each year for basic operations, the only US territory to get such funding.

But the Department of Interior has informed the governor that due to Congressional cuts, it has to reduce its support.

Although personnel costs are the territorial government's biggest expense, the governor's office says reducing the payroll bill thorugh layoffs or reduction in hours will be a last resort.