Am. Samoa Seeks To Lessen Government Vehicle Usage

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Governor says policy may save state $3,000 to $5,000 monthly

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Jan. 20, 2013) – In his State of the Territory of Address this week, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga revealed that a total inventory count of American Samoa Government (ASG) vehicles is 700-plus, saying that this is only for the Executive Branch.

"This count does not include the ASG authorities and other entities of government," said Lolo, speaking in Samoan about some of the cost containment measures he has implemented due to uncertainty in the current fiscal year 2013 budget and a possible deficit at the end of the fiscal year.

"A vehicle use policy was set and disseminated to curb spending on fuel, repairs, and joyriding," said Lolo about the policy that went into effect on Jan. 11, in which all ASG vehicles are to be turned into the Motor Pool Compound in Tafuna after working hours, unless the vehicle is given a 24/7 permit for use.

Exempted from the policy are vehicles assigned to certain executive branch agencies, the Fono, Judiciary and the authorities.

Lolo says that if this policy is fully enforced, the administration is looking at savings of between $3,000 and $5,000 a month in unnecessary expenditures, such as gasoline.

Lolo has also issued a policy that will have ASG employees be responsible for the purchase and monthly charges of cellular phones and other electronic devices unless a department head provides justification for the use of such devices.

Lolo said this policy will also provide savings to the government. He said that it was found during the review of records that cell phone bills for some departments have reached more than $50,000 and these departments and agencies don’t know how such debts are to be paid.

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