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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (August 1, 2000 - Samoa News/PINA Nius Online)---Last week would not have been the best time to cheat on your taxes. The Territory was graced with the presence of 48 auditors participating in the Association of Pacific Island Public Auditors (APIPA) annual conference.

Actually, the purpose of the conference was not to look into fraud but is primarily educational.

"Its a renewal course; this is an educational type of conference," explained Faumuina Francis Sefo, the Acting Territorial Auditor.

Members who make up APIPA include: the Marshall Islands, Chuuk, Palau, Pohnpei, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, and American Samoa.

The instructors were well-qualified individuals in their respective fields.

Marion Higa is a State Auditor in Hawai‘i, and her courses on "Performance Auditing" focused on case studies from Hawai‘i.

Drummond Kahn is a self-employed Certified Public Accountant. He conducted courses on "Formulating Audit Objectives" and "Performance Measurement."

Frank Crawford works in the legislature in the state of Oregon and held courses on "The New Reporting Model for State and Local Government" and "Anatomy of Fraud."

Those who might otherwise make fun of the profession might be stunned to hear the statistics Crawford brought to the attention of the Samoa News:

* 1 in 3 employees commit fraud.

* 87 percent of finance managers would commit fraud if it would make them look better.

* Fraud losses in the United States alone total over $400 billion a year.

For all those interested in auditing the auditors, the Office of Territorial Auditors coordinated the conference with funds from the local government and APIPA, which makes its funds through annual bills and conference registrations.

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