9 Aug 2006

Latest American Samoa audit not good enough to lift high-risk designation

6:50 am on 9 August 2006

The US Department of Interior says while the American Samoa Government's

audit for fiscal year 2005 was submitted on time, it is not enough to remove the high-risk designation which the department imposed on the territory's government

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs, David Cohen, says one of the requirements for removal of the designation is that the territory must submit timely and clean audits for two consecutive years.

Mr Cohen says although the fiscal year 2005 audit was submitted on time, the independent auditors report describes the basic financial statements in the report as inadequate.

It says there were significant failures in the internal control structure related to general accounting and grants administration and inadequate evidence to support various recorded transactions.

The Assistant Secretary has recommended that the administration hire a qualified public auditor, a qualified comptroller, and improve internal control procedures for grants and financial management.