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Territorial Audit Office hosts annual ethics training course

Participants at ethics training
Source: ASG press release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Graduate School USA and the American Samoa Territorial Audit Office hosted its third annual training course for all ASG personnel. The three-day training — Jan. 16- 18 — was funded by the U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs.

Chief Legal Counsel of the Governor’s Office Kristi Thaxton delivered the keynote speech where a govt press release quoted her emphasizing that “it takes courage to tell the truth even when we [do not] like the potential consequences of telling that truth...we count on all our employees to speak up and stand up and do the right thing.”

Counsel Thaxton further encouraged attendees to “please listen carefully and engage fully... [the course] will give you guidelines and strategies to help you overcome the dilemmas that arise in every workplace and in everyday life.”

Instructed by Mr. Drummond Kahn of Graduate School USA and Deputy Chief Legal Counsel of the Governor’s Office Terry VanEaton, the first day aimed to equip ASG employees with a decision-making tool that enables them to make decisions grounded in shared core values, a code of ethics, and the Samoan culture. Subsequent days focused on managers’ and auditors’ roles in assessing internal controls.

The course helped establish a cooperative environment for attendees and encouraged engagement in discussions addressing many possible scenarios that would challenge one’s ethical standards. During the course, attendees revisited the three pillars of the ASG Code of Ethics (Leadership, Integrity, Commitment) and applied aspects of the Samoan culture into the decision-making tool that will help them better navigate ethical challenges.

Senior Auditor Talaleu Kaumaitotoya gave welcoming remarks followed by Stake President 2nd Counselor Leuvale Seumanu’s invocation, after which Territorial Auditor Mike Edmonds gave remarks.