29 Sep 2010

American Samoa lawmaker in court over ghost employee case

7:25 pm on 29 September 2010

An American Samoa lawmaker will appear in court for his alleged involvement in a ghost employee case at the Department of Human and Social Services.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago says Talia Fa'afetai I'aulualo, who represents Manu'a district, was the department's director at the time of the case, in which he's alleged to have allowed an employee to collect her pay while she was off-island receiving medical treatment.

Monica Miller says ghost employee cases have occurred in other government departments, including a high profile incident in the Department of Education.

"As a result of what happened with the Department of Education the federal government has really been strict in accounting for time cards of people so that they require all employees to punch in and they've installed all of these biometric clocks so that there's no more fraud."

Monica Miller says when the case was first reported on in 2008 Talia said there was nothing to cover up and the employee had repaid the money.