11 Mar 2008

American Samoa legislature in row with budget office

3:40 pm on 11 March 2008

The American Samoa Legislature has been told it will have to handle its own financial operations after a disagreement with the Office of Budget and Planning.

The Director of the Budget Office, Magalei Logovii, has refused to approve and process spending claims.

Our correspondent in American Samoa, Fili Sagapolutele, says the Budget office is sticking to expenses already approved:

"These are new personnel costs or raises to personnel that have not been part of the budget. But as far as the Fono is concerned, they are a separate part of government and they should have a say in what needs to be processed through."

Fili Sagapolutele says the Fono regularly overspends its budget and a supplementary provision often has to be introduced to cover any over-run.