8 Feb 2005

American Samoa Territorial auditor hits back at Congressman

4:42 pm on 8 February 2005

American Samoa's Territorial Auditor, George Webster, has responded to recent statements made by the territory's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, about his efforts to revive the Government Comptroller position.

Mr Webster says it wasn't until two years ago that a Territorial Auditor was appointed.

This came after the US territories were warned that they were in jeopardy of losing US grant money if they continued with a non-existent, or seriously impaired audit function.

Mr Webster says the Territorial Auditor isn't in compliance with Government Audit Standards because of an inadequate budget, human resources, and enforcement.

He said he has talked about the inadequacies for many months, and has asked for the support of lawmakers and the executive to enact laws to remedy the problems.

Mr Webster says the only support he has received has been from a handful of senators and representatives, citizens and a citizens group that support good, honest and open government.

He said there has been no support from the executive, just an obstruction from the attorney general and nothing from Insular Affairs or the Office of the Inspector General.