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ASG focuses on close out for FY2018

Budget office director Catherine D. Saelua
Aug. 31, 2018 is cut off date for processing of purchases & orders

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —  ASG Office of Program Planning and Budget is providing guidelines for executive branch departments and agencies to help with closing out fiscal year 2018, which ends Sept. 30, 2018, when it comes to locally funded accounts.

Budget office director Catherine D. Saelua in an Aug. 7th letter to executive branch cabinet members, noted that its again that time of the year when each government agency “needs to revisit, reconcile, and clean out their respective Org.Key Accounts” for current FY 2018.

And in an effort to ensure a smooth transition towards the new FY 2019 and timely year end closing of FY 2018 financial books for the government, she says her office is assisting in “making all the appropriate changes and encumbrances to your accounts.”

She also provided guidelines “in planning for a successful close” of FY 2018. More importantly, she said, this exercise will also assist “in our commitment for ASG’s efforts towards attaining a timely clean audit as well as a balance budget at year end.”

According to the budget director, it is “mandatory that all ASG departments purchases and orders be processed no later than Aug. 31, 2018”. In addition to meeting this cut off date, all departments and office are required to taken certain specific actions.

Among those actions is that all outstanding commitments and encumbrances must be cleared and reconciled before year end to prevent any transactions from rolling into FY 2019, thus decreasing the department/agency’s budgeted allocation authorized for specific programs and funding.

Additionally, all purchases must be routed through the Budget Office and Treasury Department before the designated cutoff date. Furthermore, any purchase requisitions prepared and processed after Aug. 31, will be returned to be encumbered in FY 2019 budget; however, she explained that utilities and payroll are excluded from this deadline.

And that invoices and receiving reports must be received and on file with Treasury’s Accounts Payable Division before Aug. 31st to ensure payments are posted to FY 2018, she said.

During yesterday’s cabinet meeting, Saelua reminded executive branch directors about closing out FY 2018, with a letter already out to them.

“We asked that you revisit your outstanding commitments, your encumbrances,” she said, and explained for directors to inform their respective finance people about this important action.

“We recommend this because those outstanding commitments will transfer on to the new fiscal year and will impact your appropriations,” she explained. She also said that if a director knows that there are purchases already being paid for but still showing as a commitment or an outstanding encumbrance, to contact the budget office to address such issue.

Meanwhile, Saelua said about 30 budget books  for FY 2019, have been printed and to be sent to the Senate, which requested the actual budget books, while about 30-plus CDs of the budget will be send to the House. She says the budget books should be ready soon to be send to the Fono.