2 Apr 2014

Funding for business programme in American Samoa should go - audit

12:30 pm on 2 April 2014

A federal audit says American Samoa may not be fully positioned to provide credit support to small businesses under the U.S. Treasury's 'State Small Business Credit Initiative' programme, through which the territory was awarded 10.5 million US dollars two years ago.

Released last week, the U.S. Treasury's Office of Inspector General audit cited findings and recommendations on actions the U.S. Treasury should take, including terminating the territory's business initiative programme.

According to the audit American Samoa has violated several key terms of its Allocation

And while the U.S. Treasury is allowed to withhold disbursements until the Territory corrects the default, the auditors say that all of the non-compliance issues, taken collectively, suggest that U.S. Treasury should terminate the business funding to the Territory.

However, auditors say the U.S Treasury has been slow to hold American Samoa accountable for its non-compliance and recently stated it plans to review American Samoa's participation in June 2015.

Auditors say the Treasury has more than enough information to make a decision on whether to terminate the Territory's funding, because nothing has been done in the last two years to move the programme forward to help small business development.