PAY INCREASE FOR AMERICAN SAMOA'S GOVERNOR ON HOLD

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (August 4, 1997 - Samoa News)---The American Samoa House Budget and Appropriations Committee has delayed voting on a bill authorizing an increase in the annual salaries of the territory's two top officials.

The governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, now receive annual base salaries of $50,000 and $45,000.

Committee Chairman Rep. Su'emalo Alamoana Mulitauaopele said the vote was delayed because the committee wants a list of government employees who make more money than the governor and lieutenant governor.

"The lawyers and I are now reviewing the Privacy Act to see how we may be able to obtain that list," said Alamoana, adding that the committee should postpone the vote until it gets the necessary information.

Committee Member Rep. Malaetasi Mauga Togafau pointed out, however, that with all due respect to the privacy law, the information that the committee wants is readily available by a review of the FY 97 budget.

"The budget clearly indicates that there are positions in the government which make more than the ASG leaders," he explained. "We don't need to delay the vote on this issue."

During the committee hearing, Rep. Tulafono Solaita commented that the Territory's two top leaders deserve raises because some government employee's annual salaries are over $45,000.

Rep. Su'emalo Seti T. Lopa demanded that the Treasurer reveal the names of those employees, but Budget Director Joe Iuli pointed out that those names are protected under the Privacy Act.

Chairman Alamoana said the committee will, if necessary, issue subpoenas to obtain the list.

It could not be confirmed if any of the committee members had taken up Rep. Togafau's suggestion of reviewing the budget documents.

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