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Lolo: If drawdowns are not timely, you won’t get paid


For Fiscal year 2016, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has established a new policy suspending the payment of employees from departments or offices that have not drawn down their federal reimbursements for two consecutive months. This was revealed in a letter sent out last week to all department and office directors. Lolo said that starting October 1, 2015 directors administrating federal grant programs will be held accountable to ensure that reimbursements are drawn down promptly.

Legal opinion: Bond purchase should be deferred

Fund’s Investment Policy would have to be amended to approve the purchase

A US based attorney has recommended that the territory reconsider the bond purchase deal between the ASG Employees Retirement Fund and the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, saying that he has concerns and that the purchase deal “should be deferred.” 
In the meantime, the Retirement Fund board chairman Va’anatiu Tofala Iafeta has told senators that the bond deal violates the Fund’s investment policy statement.

Mana’omia pea e le AS DOE fesoasoani a Samoa


O le malaga a le Faatonusili o Aoga a le malo ia Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau i Samoa i le vaiaso na te’a nei, fa’atasi ai ma ni isi o sui mai lona Ofisa e feiloa’i ma fono ma le Pulega o le Iunivesite a Samoa i le Papaigalagala (National University of Samoa), na fa’amaonia mai ai e Vaitinasa le fa’aauau pea lea ona mana’omia e le Ofisa o Aoga a le malo a Amerika Samoa le fesoasoani a le NUS i tulaga tau aoaoga mo faiaoga.

ANZ card machines double charge over 1,000 swipes


Approximately 1,500 duplicate transactions occurred when non-ANZ cards were used on ANZ Point of Sale terminal machines, according to ANZ Teres Salumbides, country head for American Samoa Fagatogo Branch. This comes in response to Samoa News queries after the paper was bombarded by calls with complaints from the public and from businesses saying they were double charged for transactions by the bank.

Request to amend LVPA came from local fishermen

Accusing locals, U.S. citizens of threatening to rob local waters “careless” & “defamatory”

Tautai-O-Samoa Longline and Fishing Association legal counsel Sen. Afoa L.S. Lutu has written to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga outlining “facts for consideration” following the governor’s opposition letter to the federal government over a proposal by the National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) to allow large longliners to fish in certain portions of the Large Vessel Protect Area (LVPA) in the waters of American Samoa.

No sea transport for Manu’a — MV Sili down again


Two hours after the MV Sili departed the territory last weekend headed for the Manu'a Islands, the vessel returned to port because of a problem with one of its engines.
The vessel had just been given the green light to sail by the US Coast Guard (USCG) following a mandatory inspection.
A total of 25 passengers were on board the vessel. The cargo included fuel drums and supplies belonging to the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA).
It is uncertain when the vessel will be cleared to sail again.

Starkist is likely whistleblower in US tuna sector probe

Starkist has likely been accepted into the corporate leniency program of the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to class action lawsuits against the Dongwon Industries-owned company and rivals Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee Foods.

This means Starkist could get immunity from prosecution in the US government’s probe of alleged price fixing in the packaged seafood sector.

On Sept. 2, Undercurrent News reported the DOJ’s case against the big three tuna brands, Bumble Bee, Thai Union Group-owned Chicken of the Sea and Starkist likely relies on a whistleblower from within the sector.

Court denies request to re-hear citizenship lawsuit


The federal appeals court in Washington D.C. has denied a request by five American Samoans for a rehearing en banc of the citizenship lawsuit decision handed down in June this year by a three-judge panel of the same court.
The panel upheld the lower court’s decision that constitutional citizenship birth on U.S. soil does not apply to those born in American Samoa.

DoH home visit grant now on “corrective action plan”


The Maternal Infant and Early Childhood (MIECHV) grant that the Department of Health used to hire close to 200 people for the On the Job Training (OJT) Program is under scrutiny by the grantors, which was revealed in a letter sent by the grantors to Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga and DOH Director, Motusa Tuileama Nua.
The grantors have put all MIECHV grants on a corrective action plan and non compliance “may affect current and future funding for the AS DOH home visiting program.”

Lolo vetoes budget hikes for Fono and Judiciary


Exercising his authority under the constitution, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga line item vetoed changes the Fono made to the government’s initial budget submission for fiscal year 2016 and then signed the budget bill into law on Wednesday.
With the line-item veto, the original FY 2016 budget of $417.85 million is reduced by $992,500 — the total amount the Fono cut from the Visitors Bureau and eight projects under the Special Program budget category. The Fono had reallocated this money to the FY 2016 budgets of the Fono and the Local Judiciary.

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