18 May 2006

US government approves appropriations for American Samoa

10:27 am on 18 May 2006

The United States House Committee on Interior Appropriations has approved 22,880,000 US dollars for American Samoa Government operations and 10.5 million for Capital Improvement Projects.

The budget for operations reflects an increase of 110,000 over the current year level and the CIP allocation is higher than the fiscal year 2006 funding.

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin says that the Committee has included language in this year's report that urges greater accountability of federal funds.

The Committee recommends that the Secretary of the Interior enhance inter departmental, coordinated approach to oversight of all federal grants awarded to American Samoa.

It also urged that ASG complete single audits in a timely manner and that the Office of Insular Affairs encourage ASG to complete its capital investment plan.

The Committee also weighed in on the recent proposal to construct a McDonald's Restaurant at Utulei Beach.

It urges the American Samoa government to not allow commercial development of waterfront areas of Utulei Beach Park.