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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 30, 1997 - Samoa News)---The US Department of Justice is reviewing documentation pertaining to the award of a multi-million dollar contract to Mobil Oil to manage American Samoa's Gataivai Tank Farm, according to Acting Governor Togiola Tulafono.

The federal probe will determine whether the US Department of Justice will intervene or not.

The review was prompted by a petition filed by Global-Kingstate Oil of California, one of the unsuccessful bidders for the contract.

The petitioners have requested the US District Court of Northern California to intervene and launch an independent review to determine how Governor Tauese Sunia, in his capacity as American Samoa's Chief Procurement Officer, had decided to award the contract to Mobil Oil.

"As you are aware, the (American Samoa government's) terminal operations and supply are under the oversight responsibility of the United States District Court of Northern California and the US Department of Justice," a protest filed with the Governor's office last month pointed out. "Therefore, it appears that Federal Procurement Regulations would prevail," it continued. "Under Federal Procurement Guidelines, if an American corporation can meet the terms and conditions of a contract proposal, then they will have preference over a foreign corporation," Global-Kinsgate further advised the Governor.

"With these and other issues of concern, we are requesting Honorable Judge Conti, United States District Court of Northern California, and Mr. Barnard Hollander, Esq., United States Department of Justice, to intervene in the awarding of this contract and conduct an independent review of all proposals," Global-Kingstate wrote.

Acting Governor Togiola told the Samoa News that Judge Conti, via the US Department of Justice, has formally requested all documentation to be handed over to federal officials for an independent review of the four original bid proposals submitted.

The other two unsuccessful bidders are BHP Petroleum and Shell Oil.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to >samoanews@samoatelco.com

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