10 Jul 2009

Media banned from American Samoa briefing for lawmakers

10:56 am on 10 July 2009

Officials of the American Samoa Hawai'i Cable have barred the media from attending a briefing for local lawmakers about the fiber optic cable project.

Reporters from Samoa News and KHJ radio were told by a company official, Barry Rose, that the briefing was closed to the public because it included sentitive financial information.

Three lawmakers were surprised with the move to ban the media, saying nine million US dollars in public funds are being contributed by the government to the project.

Those who attended the briefing said they were told that much of the information was not for public release and/or confidential.

But one lawmaker says financial information dealing with the government's role in the venture is considered public information.