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Lolo once again comes down on “after-the-fact” purchases by gov’t

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga in a photo from Tuesday, July 23, 2019 with Monsignor Viane Etuale

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The “after-the-fact purchases and circumvention of purchasing procedures” by executive branch agencies, has prompted Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga to once again issue a memo to directors, reminding them about local laws and regulations governing such matters and urging directors to remain in full compliance.

“It does not bode well for our administration for the private sector vendors continuing to question our commitment and our assurances that prompt payment would be issued for services rendered and products delivered to government agencies,” Lolo wrote in his July 25th memo.

“This issue is again gaining attraction because some of you allowed this unacceptable practice to continue,” Lolo tells directors.

According to the governor, the ASG Treasurer and his agency have done a good job maintaining government payables below 30-days again.

However, he said, the complaints he received recently from the “private sector vendors of three-months and over payable aging, are rooted in purchases executed” by agencies who failed to follow procurement rules through acceptance of services or products without completing the paperwork.

“Some of you have engaged in the practice of accepting products even after your purchase requests were denied,” Lolo writes.

“Your failure to comply with procurement rules and procedures exposes the government to litigation and projects a very unfavorable image on our administration’s integrity and our ability to honor our promises and commitments,” he points out.

Lolo urges directors to work with the ASG Treasurer to resolve all outstanding accounts payable. He said he expects a report detailing what has been done to resolve this issue by the end of August, or sooner.

Lolo’s latest memo comes amid growing complaints — again — from the business community of having to wait for a long period of time to get payment of services or products already provided to ASG.

 The governor returned to the territory this month after being off island for medical treatment since early this year.