A look at the independent audit of ASG’s FY2019 finances — part one
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — “Since 2012, ASG under the Lolo/Lemanu Administration has recorded a year-end surplus in the General Fund, seven of the eight fiscal years,” according to the Fiscal Year 2019 independent audit of ASG finances by Utah-based Larson & Company PC, a certified public accountant firm.
The audit, issued in April this year, also reaffirmed what Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga had said in the past months that the ASG at the close of FY 2019 — on Sept. 30, 2019 — ended with a surplus.
Under “Financial Highlights”, auditors said that at the close of FY 2019, the territory’s total net position of the primary government increased by $2.0 million from the prior year. And the increase was a significant improvement over the prior year’s decrease of $4.0 million.
“The increase was attributed to an increase in revenue of $53.9 million compared to the prior year and an increase of only $47.9 million in expenses,” it says.
During the year, auditors point out that the territory’s expenses for governmental activities totaled $307.4 million, an increase of $51.7 million from FY 2018. Expenses, they said, were primarily funded by federal program revenues, local taxes and fees, other general revenues and bond proceeds.
The report explains Governmental Activities, and that is that most of the Territory’s basic services are reported here, including public safety, health and welfare, education, culture, general administration, and public works.
The government’s business-type activities — which come under the Enterprise Fund include the airport, industrial park, and shipyard authority. In this category program revenues exceeded expenses by $9.5 million compared to the increase of $6.6 million from the prior year.
“As of September 30, 2019, the General Fund reported a cumulative net fund balance of $11.4 million as compared to the prior year’s net fund balance of $3.9 million,” according to auditors.
And the improvement, they said, “was due to realizing a $7.5 million surplus in [FY] 2019.”
During fiscal 2019, governmental activities’ revenue totaled $299.9 million compared to $246.9 million during fiscal year 2018. Governmental expenses increased by $51.7 million or 20.2% compared to $255.72 million in FY 2018. For FY 2019, expenditures exceeded revenues by $7.5 million, according to the auditors.
In expenditures, total expenses for governmental activities amounted to $307.4 million. Of these total expenses, taxpayers and other general revenues funded $299.9 million with minimal contribution from business-type activities.
The top-three highest expense services for FY 2019 were - Health and Welfare at $97.7 million; Education and Culture at $81.3 million; and $70 million under general government.
In reviewing the business-type activities net revenue (expense), total business-type activities reported revenues exceeding expenses by $6.6 million. Total expenses in FY 2019 were $8.88 million — with $7.22 million under the Airport Division and the balance under “non-major activities.
Samoa News will report in future editions on other matters cited in the independent auditor’s report.