4 May 2004

American Samoa's audit office repeats calls for a ministery account to be closed

11:25 am on 4 May 2004

The Audit Office in America Samoa is insisting that a private checking account maintained by the Department of Agriculture is illegal and must be closed.

The office says the setting up of such an account violates local law.

The account was approved by the late Governor, Tauese Sunia, and has been used to deposit funds from the US Department of Agriculture for purchasing supplies, fertilisers and other assistance for local farmers.

The account is no longer being used to clear federal cheques as the US Department of Agriculture is doing its inspection and reporting activites itself.

The Audit Office says going against established policies and procedures is a sign of a high risk activity and wants the account closed.

The Governor Togiola Tulafono has said he will not shut the account down.