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Gaoteote calls for thorough review of ASPA budget

fili@samoanews.com

Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie has urged senators to proceed with a thorough review of the American Samoa Power Authority’s fiscal year 2013 budget despite any claims by ASPA management that its board has the final approval for the annual budget.

The Senate and House will tomorrow start probing the American Samoa Government’s close to $500 million budget for fiscal year 2013 and hearings are expected to last for eight working days.

Gaoteote told senators that the  Fono’s interpretation of the law is that ASPA is a government entity and subject to Fono approval of its budget. He also called on the Budget committee and senators not to give any chance to ASPA to believe or even think that the Fono does not have the authority to approve their budget.

He urged senators to maintain their duties and carryout a thorough review of the ASPA budget as well as other entities of ASG.

According to the budget document, ASPA’s FY 2013 budget totals $115.45 million with 485 employees, compared to the $118.47 million with 483 workers in the current fiscal year and $108.56 million in “actual expenditures” in FY 2011.  ASPA’s budget hearing is set for Sept. 12.

ASPA management told the Fono in past hearings that its the ASPA board of directors who gives the final approval of the authority’s annual budget, but the Fono maintains it has oversight authority in accordance with local law because ASPA is a government entity.

Because of the budget hearings, Sen. Lualemaga Faoa says the Senate Investigative Committee’s work will be suspended during that time, and will resume once the budget confirmed by the Fono.

More in tomorrow’s edition of Samoa News.



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