American Samoa Congressman Faleomavaega Eni has introduced legislation in Congress to provide federal employees in
the territory with a cost-of-living allowance or COLA.
Current federal law provides COLA for all federal employees in all 50 states and territories, however, Faleomavaega says American Samoa is the only jurisdiction not designated as an area in which federal employees are eligible to receive COLA.
He says that given that American Samoa faces many of the same issues driving higher prices for goods, services and travel that face other territories in similar situations, it seems discriminatory that the federal Office of Personnel Management or OPM has chosen not to provide COLA to federal employees in American Samoa.
He says OPM has never even done a formal price survey to determine to their satisfaction whether American Samoa should be included in this program.
Faleomavaega hope that his colleagues in Congress will realise the unfairness of the current federal system and move this bill forward quickly.