8 Oct 2013

Nervous wait in American Samoa for return to work

10:59 am on 8 October 2013

Workers for federal agencies in American Samoa are waiting nervously for the go-ahead for their return to work as the US government shutdown ends its first week.

The Governor's executive assistant, Lulogologo Joseph Pereira, says the Department of Human Resources and Treasury are working to find out how many local government employees are paid with federal funds.

Several departments which are fully or heavily funded by federal grants have submitted confirmation to the governor from their grantors allowing them to draw down funds during the shutdown.

Lulogologo says the governor is concerned about the financial welfare of employees who have stayed home since the shutdown.

But he says he is equally concerned that if he permits employees to work, the American Samoa Government may be liable for their payment, creating a financial setback for the government at an early stage of the new fiscal year.