2 Dec 2005

Cycle of fiscal crisis in American Samoa, says US

10:19 am on 2 December 2005

The Office of the Inspector General in the US Department of Interior says a "strong partnership" between the territorial government and the Office of Insular Areas is needed to break what it calls the cycle of fiscal crisis in American Samoa.

This is according to a semi-annual report to the US Congress, released yesterday detailing the agency's activities between April and October.

Over the past two decades, the office said the American Samoa government had perated in a constant state of fiscal crisis, moving from one failed fiscal reform effort to another."

It said that audit had revealed that the latest reform, the 2001 Reform Plan, would also fail unless top leadership in American Samoa and the Office of Insular Affairs forged an active partnership.

The office said the reform plan lacked goals for long-term solvency, namely a balanced budget; aggressive revenue enhancement and cost-cutting measures; and options for restructured operations, privatization, expanded economic development, and direct foreign investment.