15 Apr 2003

American Samoa advised by Washington to strengthen its Audit Office

5:35 pm on 15 April 2003

The US Deputy Secretary of the Interior for Insular affairs, Papaliitele David Cohen, says it's in the American Samoan Government's best interests to strengthen the Territorial Auditors Office.

The territory's government says it's committed to filling the Auditor's job which has been vacant for more than 7 years.

Mr Cohen says his department will help if its assistance is neccessary.

He says federal funding could depend on the position being filled.

"If there is a strong public auditor with independence and sufficient staff and money, we feel more comfortable that our federal funds are going to be looked after properly. We're not saying there's a particular problem. We're just saying this is a structural mechanism that should be in place so that we can have comfort and outside investors can have comfort."

The U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior for Insular Affairs, Papaliitele David Cohen.