6 Jan 2006

American Samoa Development Bank permits borrowing by board members

8:17 am on 6 January 2006

The Board of the American Samoa Development Bank has removed a moratorium that disallowed board members and employees from borrowing from the bank.

The moratorium was put in place about two years ago after confidential reports showed that millions of dollars in loans to bank directors and employees had been made prior to and after the 2000 elections , many of which were in arrears.

The acting bank president, Utu Abe Malae, said that while the moratorium has been lifted, tight controls have been put in place to prevent conflicts of interest.

This includes a code of Ethics as well as extensive documentation requirements for all loans.

The board has also approved a Whistleblower Policy which protects employees from retaliation from their superiors should they report a bona fide case of corruption, waste, fraud, malfeasance or serious breach of responsibility.