21 Mar 2007

US criticised for not controlling corruption in American Samoa

3:51 pm on 21 March 2007

There is criticism over the apparent reluctance of the U.S. federal government to rein in corruption in its territory of American Samoa.

An anti-corruption watchdog, Common Cause, has called for the territory's governor and lt. governor to step down over what it calls mounting concerns about widespread mismanagement.

A number of directors of government departments and agencies have been convicted, suspended or asked to step down from their roles over misuse of funds and allegations of corruption, including most recently, the head of the local office of Homeland Security.

A Common Cause board member, Dale Long, believes the U.S. should be doing a lot more over the issue.

"It seems that the federal government has been reluctant to forcibly or energetically twist the governor's arm and say, at least publicly, it's time to clean up your act. The people that have the oversight and power over the purse to this local government, are not doing a proper job in my view."

Dale Long, a Common Cause board member.