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Request for audits & financials on the table before Fono convenes

Rep. Larry S. Sanitoa
The agenda? The FY 2022 budget

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — When the Fono convenes next month for the 2nd Regular Session of the 37th Legislature, one of the priorities the lawmakers will focus on is the annual budget submission by the current administration.

For the Lemanu Administration, it will be its second budget proposal, with the first one submitted in early January this year to cover the rest of the current fiscal year 2021, which ends on Sept. 30, 2021. This was due to the Fono and former Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga disagreeing with the final language of the budget bill.

As lawmakers prepare to convene on July 12th, Samoa News has received word of lawmakers’ plans to seek several ASG financial reports. The Lemanu Administration is already working on its budget submission to the Fono, according to two ASG officials.

One of lawmakers seeking audits and financial reports, is Rep. Larry S. Sanitoa who wrote last Friday to Legislative Financial Officer, Talalemotu Mauga. “The Fono will be back in session next month and we will be reviewing and holding discussions on the Fiscal Year 2022 budget,” Sanitoa wrote.

 “Given the importance of our work as legislators, I respectfully and urgently seek your assistance once again to request the following audits, ASG financial reports and COVID 19 funding be made available,” he said.

Sanitoa has requested the ASG 2020 Audit report; General Fund Expenditure and Revenue Reports from the ASG Budget Office for Oct. 1, 2020 thru May 31, 2021; and General Fund Revenue and Expenditure Reports from ASG Treasury Department for Oct. 1, 2021 to May 31, 20201.

The Tualauta faipule is also seeking FY 2021 Audit Reports for LBJ Medical Center, American Samoa Power Authority, American Samoa Community College and American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority.

Included in his request is also the latest expenditures and list of projects funded under the 2020 CARES Act; and the list of projects and proposed expenditures under the 2021 American Rescue Plan.

At least two other lawmakers say they will also be seeking ASG financial reports and funding update information on the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan funds, in the next coming days to see where American Samoa stands with all these federal monies given to the territory.