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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE February 15, 2001


Congressman Eni Faleomavaega has requested an immediate investigation into how an internal U.S. Department of Labor report regarding conditions at the Daewoosa Samoa garment factory was leaked to the public.

"As a matter of practice, I publicly refrain from speaking to the press about on-going Federal investigations," Congressman Faleomavaega said. "It is inexcusable that U.S. Department of Labor officials do not abide by a similar policy. Such lapse in judgment and procedure has caused American Samoa to be unfairly depicted in the press."

"I have asked the newly appointed Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, to fully review this matter and ensure that steps are taken to prevent this kind of situation from occurring again," Congressman Faleomavaega said. "For the Secretary’s consideration, I attached reports from the New York Times, Dallas Morning Star and Orange Country Register. Each contained reports of interviews with U.S. Department of Labor officials as well as data from internal findings. Although the newspaper articles contained erroneous information, it is clear that outside sources had access to internal government documents."

"I want to know how these reports, which were incomplete at best, were obtained by outside sources," Congressman Faleomavaega said. "I also want to know why lead investigators felt they were free to speak to the press about an on-going Federal investigation. I will be working closely with the Secretary during this investigation and am looking forward to bringing this matter to a fair and expeditious resolution."

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