11 Apr 2011

More money woes for American Samoa government

3:16 pm on 11 April 2011

The American Samoa government is again behind on payments to the utility company, the American Samoa Power Authority, which is a semi autonomous state agency.

Information given to lawmakers reveals the government had an outstanding debt of 4 point 6 million US dollars to the utility provider, as of last month, not counting another 1.5 million in the government's accounts payable.

Senior government officials says the priority is the public servants' payroll, which is about $4 million every two weeks.

The utility has declined comment on the government's debt.

The government has been struggling to meet a budget shortfall since last year.

Last week the governor threatened to start laying off workers because lawmakers had failed to agree to a raft of new taxes.