10 May 2004

American Samoa auditor questions lack of action

9:38 am on 10 May 2004

The Auditor of American Samoa is asking why government appointees failed to take action over breaches of rules on political spending in the 2000 elections.

The Territorial Auditor, George Webster, says the audit review was completed less than a fortnight ago, and the chairman of the government-appointed Campaign Spending Commission had no comments on the group's findings.

Mr Webster says the audit review found some apparent violations of the law over contribution limitations, although they were not unusual amounts.

However one gubernatorial team seemed to have some contributions that went over the business amount.

During the 2000 general election, campaign contributions had a 1-hundred US dollar ceiling limit for individuals and 2-hundred and fifty US dollars for companies.

But in 2002, the law was amended under a proposal by the late Governor Tauese Sunia hiking the individual maximum donation to 5-hundred US dollars with 2-thousand dollars for companies.

Mr Webster says his office will be closely monitoring political contributions to this year's election.