3 May 2006

US Interior Department says American Samoa must further improve financial reporting

4:32 pm on 3 May 2006

The US Department of Interior has informed Governor Togiola Tulafono that the American Samoa Government still has a lot more work to do to get itself out of high risk designation.

The Interior Department declared the territory's government under high risk in June of last year because of deficiencies in completing annual audits and weaknesses in accounting an internal controls.

The Director of the Office of Insular Affairs, Nikolao Pula, says the latest audit report for 2004 contains significant failures in a range of areas.

The 2004 report states that the ASG ended the fiscal year with a balanced budget.

However Mr Pula says the administration has not yet satisfied the conditions required for removal of the high risk status.

He said as of January this year several major steps in the areas of new revenue sources, cost reductions and budget process reforms had not been completed.

The OIA is expecting improvements within two weeks.