31 Mar 2006

American Samoan senate president urges fono funds control

9:00 am on 31 March 2006

The Senate President in American Samoa, says the fono should have a say in the allocation of federal funds to prevent misuse and abuse of the money.

Lolo Letalu Moliga says they can't monitor the millions of dollars in federal funds for American Samoa unless they know about it.

Lolo says they are now seeing problems with many federal funds given to American Samoa and the Fono may be able to help prevent these problems if it had the chance.

The Senate President points to the case of the Department of Human and Social Services' funding for the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) where the local agency was cited for spending money not in accordance with federal guidelines.

Lolo says the biggest problem for American Samoa is the high-risk designation of all federal grants by the U.S. Department of Interior.

He says he is not asking the Congress to change how funding given to American Samoa is used but it has to go through some sort of monitoring system.