14 Jun 2005

Federal officers lift restrictions on funding for American Samoa education department

9:28 am on 14 June 2005

The US Department of Education has lifted restrictions on funding for American Samoa that had been withheld because of concerns about accountability.

A freeze on federal grants under the high risk designation imposed two years ago has now been lifted.

The notice was given by the leader of a visiting team from the department, Phil Maestri.

The department of education had withheld half of the grant money intended for American Samoa's education administrators, including for vocational rehabilitation and advocacy for disabled people.

Mr Maestri was said to have been impressed with controls put in place for accountability and transparency of federal

grant spending.

The American Samoa department of education has now linked its financial computer system with Treasury , Budget and Procurement departments.

The system gives up-to-date information on account funds and can track payments and purchases.