3 Oct 2013

American Samoa governor urges strict adherence to budgets

2:54 pm on 3 October 2013

The American Samoa Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, says the federal shutdown will spell problems for the territory's small economy.

The freeze which has also affects Guam and the Northern Marianas began yesterday when Congress failed to reach a budget compromise, resulting in the shutdown of many federal agencies and the furloughing of employees.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting this morning the governor asked departments that are run by local monies to share their resources with agencies that are federally funded while the deadlock in Washington continues.

He also laid down the budget law to department heads saying they must adhere to their approved budget.

"Anti-deficiency law provides for us to live within the means so it's your responsibility as the director to know your numbers, you as a director will be legally responsible when the law is violated."

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga.

From tomorrow, the Territorial Administration on Aging Office will be closing its two main programmes due to the shutdown - a food voucher programme and a part-time employment scheme for senior citizens.

Meanwhile the U.S. Interior Department's Office of Insular Affairs has informed governments of American territories that the shutdown will limit OIA operations.

The majority of routine functions such as the awarding of and drawing down of grants will stop and only financial assistance related to on-going Capital Improvement Programme projects will be maintained