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Initiative necessary for proper utilization of funds

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 19, 2011) - The United States Army Corps of Engineers is about to start checking the state of public school buildings in American Samoa as part of the department of interior’s Assessment of Buildings and Classrooms.

The assistant secretary of the interior for the office of insular affairs, Anthony Babauta, says the initiative shouldn’t be viewed as criticism of local officials but rather as a tool for the effective use of scarce resources.

Lieutenant governor, Faoa Aitofele Sunia, says a shortage of qualified local people has stopped this assessment happening earlier.

He says it is also why the territory’s behind on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA, projects.

"Because of that very reason we did not have qualified engineers and people to go out and assess what we needed to be rebuilt or to use the ARRA funds for, so this will add another important aspect or skill to our local maintenance people, not only with the Department of Education but also with the Department of Works."

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