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ASG met federal deadline for filing audit reports — a first

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga met recently with officials of the private auditing firm of Moss and Adams regarding the financial audit of the American Samoa Government for fiscal year 2013, which ended Sept. 30, 2013, and the single audit report and financial statements are due to be released soon.


Lawmakers have been asking the administration for copies of the independent audit to get a clear picture of how FY 2013 was for the entire government, especially at the LBJ Medical Center, which has had so many financial woes between FYs 2012 and 2013.


The governor’s executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira said yesterday that the governor met Monday this week in Honolulu with officials of the auditing firm and one of the “positive accomplishments” that was shared with the governor is that ASG has met the Federal Audit Clearinghouse (FAC) filing deadline.


(The FAC, is a federal agency which receives, process and distributes to federal agencies the single audit report of those recipients who receive federal assistance.)


Iulogologo told Samoa News that meeting the filing deadline “is deemed to be a first for us, providing a fitting tribute to the efforts and commitment of our late Treasurer Dr. Falema'o ‘Phil’ Pili — may he rest in peace — and will be his legacy.”


Asked as to issues discussed pertaining to ASG’s audit and if the auditors shared any concerns, Iulogologo responded that “an unqualified opinion would have been issued for the entire government had it not been for the Hospital's financial system deficiencies.”


He said, “Consequently, an unmodified opinion was issued on the governmental activities while a qualified opinion was issued on LBJ Hospital Fund. The Audit will be released soon and... will have the details on the findings and financial status of the government.”


(An unqualified opinion is considered clear and clean; while a qualified opinion is the opposite.)


Asked if ASG is expecting to be in the red or black for FY 2013, Iulogologo hinted that it ended in a surplus.


“Remember, a deficit from the previous years under a different administration is carried forward. So even though fiscal year 2013 ended with a surplus, prior years deficit accumulation will wipe out the FY 2013 year end surplus,” he said via email from Honolulu.


The Lolo Administration took over the helm of government on Jan. 3, 2013, which meant there were three more quarters left in FY 2013 under their administration.  Lolo told lawmakers in January this year that the 10% set aside for each quarter implemented early last year was proven effective in FY 2013, which allowed ASG to end the fiscal year 2013 “with a budget surplus”.


However, some lawmakers — up till now — are still not convinced of a budget surplus, and they continue to ask Treasury for the status of the FY 2013 single audit and financial statement audit.