20 Jul 2005

American Samoa's Power Authority goes broke

10:12 am on 20 July 2005

The chair of American Samoa's Power Authority has told a senate committee that unauthorised spending has left the authority financially strapped.

Joe Yandall was testifying over a dispute between the board and ASPA employees.

He said he was told by the Chief Financial Officer John Marsh that ASPA was on the verge of turning off power because it did not have money to pay for fuel.

Mr Yandall said funds were being spent on local projects, many of which had not been budgeted for or approved by the board.

He told senators he had tried to put a stop to the spending but was continually overuled by higher officials.

Mr Yandall said the board was never informed by ASPA management about the cash flow problem.