23 Sep 2008

Ghost workers identified in American Samoa

10:16 am on 23 September 2008

Our correspondent in American Samoa reports that during a review of the Governor's Office budget for fiscal year 2009, the House Budget and Appropriations Committee questioned whether all positions in the current fiscal year budget were occupied.

The question was prompted by revelations in a payroll printout for the Governor's

Office which showed the names of three employees whom not many people knew were employed by the government.

That was because they were are not seen at their supposed work places.

Committee chairman Representative Laolagi Fonoti asked if the Governor's Office had ghost employees, the term given to workers who collect paychecks but do not report to work or do so on a very limited basis.

The Chief of Staff Pati Faiai confirmed that the three employees were on the Governor's Office payroll.

One of the positions referred to is an advisor to the governor carrying a salary of $40,000.

A paramount chief is being paid that salary but even staff of the Governor's Office say they do not see him at all in the office.