Samoan govt's concern over lack of audits on diplomatic missions

The Samoan government has ordered the audit of finances of all overseas diplomatic missions.

The Samoa Observer reports Cabinet approved this after a request from the Audit Office, amid concerns of a four-year period since the accounts of Samoa's diplomatic missions were last audited.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for the Audit Office, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio, said he couldn't understand why it took so long for the missions to be audited when it should be done annually.

But he said missions' finances have not been totally neglected as they are monitored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Deputy Prime Minister also said it's not a lot of money but it is still public funds and needs to be accounted for.

Samoa has diplomatic missions in New York, Canberra and Sydney, China, Japan, Wellington and Auckland, Fiji and American Samoa, all operated on a budget of about $US7.3 million.