20 Jul 2007

Samoa Senate committee hearing evidence of corruption in Education Department

10:04 am on 20 July 2007

The American Samoa Senate Select Investigative Committee, is to question six witnesses today into alleged improprieties in the Department of Education's dealings with a local car dealer for the maintenance of school buses and the purchase of spare parts.

Committee staff have been investigating the case since late last year and have collected invoices and check copies dating back several years.

The evidence points to a pattern of monthly purchases for car parts which normally need to be replaced on an annual or two year basis and constant repair jobs for school buses carried out by the same company.

There are allegations that government employees who were involved in the transactions with the vendor may have received special perks form the company including trips off island and discounted prices for their own personal vehicle purchases or maintenance.

Among those to be questioned by the committee are the General manager and employees of the local company, and Department of Education and Budget officials.