American Samoa:

Financial Management Practices

T-NSIAD-92-30: Published: May 19, 1992. Publicly Released: May 19, 1992.

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GAO discussed American Samoa's financial management problems, and the Department of the Interior's oversight of federal financial assistance. GAO noted that: (1) Samoa has operated with a deficit in its General Fund for 10 of the past 12 fiscal years; (2) Samoa did not fully implement financial recovery plans it developed to address its financial problems; (3) by the end of fiscal year (FY) 1990, the cumulative General Fund deficit was about $17.6 million; (4) in June 1991, Samoa borrowed $5 million from its Employees Retirement Fund to ease its immediate cash flow problems; (5) while Samoa probably can not control certain problems it faces in trying to predict widely fluctuating corporate tax revenues, it could improve its collection of other delinquent taxes; (6) Samoa frequently ignored its regulations and written procedures for managing program expenditures, resulting in a $4.5-million overrun of its FY 1990 appropriations; (7) many officials were unaware of numerous federal reports and recommendations that the Samoan government follow its procurement and contracting regulations; (8) in spite of the Governor's executive order to eliminate government positions through normal attrition, the government had a net increase in employees in FY 1990; (9) Interior has improved its oversight of capital improvement and technical assistance to improve Samoa's efficiency and accountability, but Interior's efforts to improve the government's financial management practices have been largely ineffective; and (10) Interior has not strictly enforced conditions it attached to operating assistance grants to Samoa.

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