ASG’s Comprehensive Report cites fiscal compliance as an admin priority
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — “Fiscal Responsibility, Compliance & Accountability” of the Lemanu-Talauega Administration is one section in the summary of the Governor’s State of the Territory Comprehensive Report.
“With the increase in available federal funding to the American Samoa Government, the Lemanu- Talauega Administration continues to concentrate its efforts in assuring that these funds are spent in accordance with federal and local procurement policies and procedures,” the report said
Among the updates cited in the report is the U.S Department of Treasury’s Office of Inspection General (USTreasury-OIG) audit of the $35 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) awarded to American Samoa.
The report notes that throughout last year, submissions were made to the USTreasury-OIG as part of the audit of the CRF money received under the previous Lolo administration. And this process has since been completed.
And the Lemanu-Talauega Administration now awaits the final audit report by USTreasury-OIG.
Many lawmakers as well as others in the community are anxiously awaiting the overall audit of CRF money.
Another issue cited in the Comprehensive Report is the 2021 ASG Single Audit and the Financial audit performed during second quarter of 2022.
Due to border closures, the audit was virtual, similar to the previous year. In February last year, COVID-19 entered the Territory; however, Treasury Department’s Finance Division was able to work with the auditors, sometimes remotely from home, to complete the audit on time — April 30, 2022.
“Ensuring budgetary compliance is a priority of the Lemanu-Talauega Administration,” the report said. “Adjusting cost saving measures will be put in place as a result of any shortfalls or improper expenditures.”
According to the report, weekly compliance review meetings are conducted throughout the year and will continue to ensure the government has complied and instituted corrective measures as these types of non-budgetary concerns and findings arise.
“The Administration will continue to be vigilant in this endeavor to resolve our findings and incorporate recommendations for improvements,” it says.
The report touched on the Debt Service compliance, which is managed by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority (ASEDA).
And ASEDA “continues to be compliant with timely payments to investors, monitoring reports required by our continuing disclosure with the Municipality Securities Rule-making Authority (MSRB), US Government Accountability Office (GAO ) and rating agency.”
“Debt service earmarks authorized by the Fono coupled with investment interest earned provide the inflow of revenues to sufficiently address our compliance payments,” the report said.
Furthermore, the general obligation bonds provided assistance to over 20 projects to help improve the quality of life; develop sound financial decisions and governance; support economic development; dedicate resources to secure capital improvements that would strengthen infrastructure and provide services in the territory.