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Governor submits proposed FY 2024 budget totaling $664 million

Gov. Lemanu P.S. Mauga
This is down 4% from the current FY 2023 budget document

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Gov. Lemanu P. S. Mauga has submitted to the Fono, the American Samoa Government’s proposed final budget for the new fiscal year 2024, which is more $664 million, a decrease of 4% from the current FY 2023 approved budget of $693.41 million.

“With confidence, I am glad to report that our financial position is sound and our revenue streams are strong,” the governor wrote in his FY 2024 Executive Budget summary letter July 10 to Fono leaders. “This provides the tapestry of financial stability needed for our FY2024 Budget Plan.”

The 26-page summary document was transmitted along with the large-FY 2024 budget book for distribution to lawmakers and the Administration’s proposed budget bill, which is expected to be introduced in both the Senate and House in the coming days.

The government’s budget plan has four main funding components consisting of Federal Grants at $275.34 million; Enterprise Funds at $236.32 million, Capital Improvements at $10.26 million, and Local Funds at $143 million — which is an increase of 14% from FY 2023 local funds of $125.28 million, according to data included in the budget summary.

“The local funds get most of the attention and scrutiny as allocation of the limited pool of local revenues depends on the strength of our revenue collections,” the governor said in his budget summary letter.

“In the event we generate a revenue shortfall or surplus during the fiscal year, a supplemental financial plan may be prepared and transmitted to the Legislature for its consideration,” he explained.

According to the governor, the ASG semi-autonomous authorities will directly submit and present the details of their FY 2024 Budget to the Fono with a copy provided to the ASG Budget Office. He explained that the authorities budgets may vary due to the amount of subsidies they request versus the amount the government can appropriate.

“The process will provide for better scrutiny and review,” he said, adding that summary of the authorities’ funding plans are included in the Summary Section of the FY 2024 Budget Document.


“Given our needs are so great, unmatched by how limited our resources are; nonetheless, we have put in our best effort to allocate fundings to the most pressing priorities of government,” the governor explained the intention of the budget.

He points out that the FY 2024 financial plan provides funding towards sustaining healthcare, education, public safety, infrastructure and economic development with the aim to boost the local economy.

Additionally, the budget contains funding for ongoing commitments such as the increments for career service employees and the 2% additional increase in employer contribution to the retirement fund.

To address identified under-funded areas of government, Lemanu said, additional resources have been allocated to the Medicaid Office to shore up the local match, restoring funding to the Department of Education due to budget cuts, securing funding for the Search and Rescue Department, the Correctional Department, and to the Governor’s special projects program.

The governor recalled that in the previous two years, the government was blessed with supplemental budgets due to windfalls from excess revenues. And he suggested a set-aside rainy day fund.

“Given the uncertainty and the unpredictable nature of revenue streams in the future, perhaps a viable option to consider is to earmark a set aside portion from the supplemental — unobligated excess revenues — towards a rainy day fund to further enhance security of bond obligations and to be prepared for any future emergencies,” the governor suggested.

“Our future generation should not be indebted because of inaction and lack of foresight during our times. In fact, our young people will be grateful for the display of courage and impart of wisdom on our part,” he said.

The governor went on to provide a brief summary of other major projects being planned that consist of the development of the downtown area, monetization of the internet cable’s 200 gig capacity, broadband expansion into underserved areas, development of a high tech hub, and development of a new hospital.

“There is also new federal funding in the pipeline for businesses and infrastructure in the near future. For the most part, these economic development projects will be funded by federal grants,” the governor said. 

“Overall, our primary goal is to continue to expand the economy and sustain our public service priorities while maintaining a balanced budget. In general, changes were made across the board affecting all sectors of government from their original proposed budget submissions in an effort to better align the budget needs with the projected revenue collection,” he said.

“Although our proposed spending budget will be approved, spending will be based on actual collection. We simply can’t spend money we don’t have and will do whatever is necessary to balance our budget to avoid deficit spending,” he said.

Samoa News will report in a future edition on other issues in the governor’s letter.