12 May 2003

American Samoan Congressman welcomes set-up of new agency to co-ordinate federal policy

7:22 am on 12 May 2003

American Samoa's Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, is welcoming the establishment of a U.S. group which will co-ordinate federal policy towards the territory.

The Inter-Agency Group on Insular Areas, the IGIA, will also cover Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

But Faleomavaega, who was at the ceremony when President George Bush signed the executive order establishing the group, has some reservations.

"The problem is that whenever meetings are called you don't have the real policy makers from the different federal agencies so you end up getting someone who is not in a policy making capacity and you end up with low level management who make up this agency council and that's the only concern I have about the idea..the idea is OK ,its just when it comes to meaningful work I haven't seen that come through."