AMERICAN SAMOA SENATE TO INVESTIGATE LICENSING OF CONTRACTORS

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (March 28, 2001 - PIDP/CPIS)---The territorial Senate passed a resolution calling for the investigation of the government's Contractors License Board and the Board of Tradesmen Examiners for "illegal and corrupt practices" relating to licensing of contractors.

The Senate Public Works Committee, chaired by Senator Misaalefua J. Hudson, is conducting the Senate Investigation. Besides been a Senator, Misaalefua also owns a construction company.

The Senate resolution states that it is concerned with "a sudden increase of locally licensed contractors that have competed for government construction projects" and indicates that "many of these contractors consist of foreigners who operate under business licenses issued to local residents who are not tradesmen."

The resolution recalls that complaints have been lodged of "illegal corrupt practices in the past by some past government employees and officials, including abusing and misusing public funds appropriated for certain projects."

The measure stresses that the only way to prevent continuation of these bad things is to expose them to the public. Otherwise, the persons responsible will "be encouraged to continue with these illegal and corrupt practices without fear of retribution or punishment," the resolution said.

The resolution provides for invoking the investigative authority placed with the Senate Public Works Standing Committee.

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