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Fono vows to scrutinize ASPA's proposed budget

fili@samoanews.com

The American Samoa Power Authority, whose board chairman has publicly claimed its annual budget does not require Legislative approval, is proposing $118.47 million for the new fiscal year 2012 for four of its five divisions, the fuel division is missing.

However, the ASPA budget does include in the electric division, which has a total of 355 employees, over $56 million under the “fuel” expenditure category for “petroleum products,” according to the ASPA’s FY 2012 budget proposal, which some lawmakers have told Samoa News they plan to “fully scrutinize to the very last penny.”

Several of those lawmakers, including the Fono leadership, are not at all happy with ASPA board chairman Asaua Fuimaono’s claim made in a letter to Rep. Larry Sanitoa that it’s the board which approves the ASPA budget, not the Fono.

It all started when Sanitoa questioned ASPA using a budget of about $120 million in the current fiscal year instead of the $90 million approved by the Fono last year. This issue only came to light after Sanitoa identified the use of $120 million as the FY 2011 budget in the ASPA first and second quarter performance reports for FY 2011.

According to the budget proposal for FY 2012, ASPA identified only four divisions, but not the fuel division where ASPA is a fuel supplier for Exxon-Mobil Oil.

ELECTRIC DIVISION

ASPA is proposing an $89.51 million budget for the electric division to be funded with $79.75 million in rates & other revenue; federal operating grants (including Interior Department and Federal Emergency Management) at $5 million; and $5.71 million in federal stimulus money and other income.

While personnel costs are $5.58 million, the largest expenditure for this division is $60.76 million for materials and supplies, which include $56.92 in petroleum products, the largest expenditure for this division. The next highest expense is $2.83 million for operation and maintenance materials that includes spare parts for generators.

Contractual service expenditures total $11.47 million and the largest expense is $10.76 million for grant funding projects from stimulus money, from DOI and FEMA.

WATER DIVISION

Water division budget stands at $11.02 million and revenues for this division include $6.75 million in water rates; $3.64 million in DOI grant program and the rest from miscellaneous income and federal grants including EPA and DOI-CIP.

The largest expenditure is $4.14 million for contractual services — which includes $3.86 million under ‘grant funded water projects’; $3.06 million for 58 budgeted positions; and other expenditures are material and supplies; travel, ‘All others’; and equipment.

WASTEWATER DIVISION

Budget for this division comes to $12.47 million with the largest allocation of $7.93 million for contractual service — including $7.56 million for contract work for all CIP grant funded projects; $1.86 million in personnel costs for 29 positions; $1.80 million for equipment; and other expenses, which includes materials and supplies; ‘all others’ and travel.

Revenues for wastewater division come from $2.91 million in wastewater rates; $8.49 million in “federal grants EPA, CIP”; and the rest comes from other grants and miscellaneous revenue.

SOLID WASTE DIVISION

Budget for this division stands at $5.46 million with revenues to be collected from solid waste rate (totaling $2.64 million); $1.14 million in DOI grant and the rest from miscellaneous and other grants.

A little over $1.2 million is budgeted for 41 positions; followed by $1.81 million for “all others”; $1.49 million for equipment; and the rest of the budget expenditures are for travel, contractual services, materials and supplies.



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