22 Apr 2013

Impact of budget cuts still unclear for American Samoa

5:26 am on 22 April 2013

The extent of the impact of federal budget cuts or the sequestration to

American Samoa is still unclear.

The American Samoa Government has taken a 10% budget cut in the fiscal year 2013 after the Department of Interior informed the administration that there will be a 5% reduction of Interior funding to the territory.

Departments that rely heavily on federal assistance, such as the LBJ hospital and the Territorial Energy Office, are waiting to hear what the sequestration will mean for local operations.

The territory's US Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin says most federal

agencies are aware of the implications of sequestration on their services, but not territories like American Samoa.

"On the sequestration, you're talking about 95 billion [US] dollars that we're arguing, debating over, in terms of the defence department, interior, every federal agency is being impacted by it. As for us, well, right now I don't hear any shiftings about how many people are being fired, because we're so small."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin says his staff is looking into how big the cuts are.