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Legislators seek financial reports on ASG and ASTCA as well as update on Faleasao Wharf

Rendering of proposed new Fono Building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Through two separate letters to the Legislative Financial Office, Rep. Larry Sanitoa requested financial reports for the American Samoa Government as well as the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA).

For the ASG financial reports, Sanitoa noted that government leaders have recently reported a surplus at the end of fiscal year 2018 — referring to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga’s address to the Fono two weeks ago that FY 2018 closed off in a positive position of $3.9 million.

ASG financial reports requested include ASG FY 2017 Audit; General Fund Expenditure & Revenue Reports from Treasury Department and Budget Office covering Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30 2018; and FY 2019 first quarter, Oct. 1- Dec. 30, 2018 — reports on expenditures and revenues from the Budget Office and Treasury Department.

“These reports will help my colleagues and I get a better understanding of our government financials,” Sanitoa wrote.

For ASTCA, Sanitoa said it was last month that the American Samoa Economic Development Authority (ASEDA) issued the $50 million 2018 bonds series of which $28.8 million is for ASTCA's outstanding debts for the Hawaiki Cable system.

“This amount is over and above the $30 million ASTCA already loaned from the ASG Employees' Retirement Fund within the last two years, also in the name of Hawaiki Cable,” he said.

“In order for my colleagues and I to fully understand the financial concerns at ASTCA,” Sanitoa requested the FYs 2017 and 2018 ASTCA Audit Repots; Revenue and Expenditure reports from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017; Revenue and Expenditure reports from Oct. 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018; Account Receivable Report for FY 2017 and 2018; and Account Payable Report for FY 2017 and 2018.


At last Friday’s Senate session, Manu’a Sen. Logoai Siaki Logoai requested a committee hearing so Port Administration officials can explain the status of the Faleasao Wharf on Ta’u island in Manu’a.

Logoai said it's been more than a year and the ASG vessel cannot dock inside Faleasao Wharf to load and unload. Instead, the vessel would anchor off shore while small boats are used to ferry both passengers and cargo to and from the wharf.

He said this practice could have serious consequences in the long run.

The Senate Port Administration/ Transportation Committee has been tasked to look into this matter and/or call a hearing. As of last Friday, no hearing date had been set.

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga's 75-page 2019 State of the Territory Comprehensive Report, released Jan. 14 to Fono leaders and the US Department of Interior, provided an update on the re-dredging of Faleasao Harbor as well as other developments in the Manu’a islands.

According to the report, a “bathymetric survey” undertaken at Faleasao shows that there was “significant shoaling” of about 1,760 cubic yards caused by Tropical Storm Gita last February. 

This has been submitted to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and awaiting their assessment for funding of the re-dredging of the harbor. According to the governor, Port Administration has submitted an application to FEMA to have this project approved as “add on mitigation”, which will not only remove the shoaled material, but will deepen the harbor to 21-feet, making it much safer for the navigation of the inter-island ferries into the harbor.

The Comprehensive report also states that DOI awarded $1.8 million for the re-dredging of Faleasao wharf.

“Because of the limited air travel, the Faleasao Harbor is critical for the transportation and cargo needs for residents of Manu’a,” the governor said. “The dredging of Faleasao Harbor will ensure continued safe passage of the MV Manu’atele and MV Sili.”

The report also notes efforts to rehabilitate Ofu Wharf. It says that a proposal to the US Army Corps of Engineer to  proceed with a design using a conservative approach and moving the geotechnical investigation to a pre-construction phase has been considered.

Furthermore, the redesign will include a boat ramp and drop the main dock deck down to accommodate the small fishing boats and also the MV Sili.