The Territorial Audit Office was established in accordance with Chapter 4 of the American Samoa Annotated Code as an independent agency under the direction of the Territorial Auditor.
4.0402 Office Established
The TAO is established as an independent agency under the direction of the Territorial Auditor, TAO includes the Territorial Auditor and staff.
4.0403 Territorial Auditor
The Territorial Auditor must be a person experienced and competent in government auditing, financial management, or government operations and budgeting. This section also stated that the Territorial Auditor must be either a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certifed Internal Auditor (CIA)
4.0404 Appointment and Term of Office
The Governor appoints the Territorial Auditor and is confirmed by Legislature. The Territorial Auditor's term is for four years from the date of appointment by the Governor. The Territorial Auditor cannot serve more than eight years.
The Territorial Auditor can only be removed from office by the Governor with the affirmative vote of 2/3 of the members of each House of the Legislature. In addition, the Territorial Auditor may only be removed from one or more of the following causes: conviction of a misdemeanor or a felony, mental or physical incapacity, malfeasance, nonfeasance, or unethical actions or conduct, or pursuant to prohibitions specified in 4.0418.
The salary of the Territorial Auditor cannot be reduced during the term of office.
Other than contract employees, all TAO staff are career employees.
4.0408 Outside Specialists may be hired
4.0409 Annual Plan
The Territorial Auditor may amend the workplan of the TAO at any time.
4.010 Clearance of all Auditing Services required by Government Agencies
All audits sought by the Government Agency are to be cleared through the TAO.
4.0411 Audit Standards
Audits conducted by the TAO shall be conducted in accordance with Government Auditing Standards promulgated by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
4.0412 Audit Procedures and Requirements
This section requires the TAO to submit a draft report to the audited agency and to obtain written comments from the audited agency that are to be included in the final report.
4.0413 Audit Reports
Audit reports must include a statement of the scope of the audit, the findings resulting from the audit, the underlying cause and significance of the audit findings, and an explanation of rebuttal by the agency audited. A copy of the report must be submitted to the Governor, The President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and the head of the audited agency. If the audit discloses an apparent violation of a criminal statute, a copy of the report shall also be submitted to the Attorney General. Audit reports are public reports.
4.014 Investigation Reports
Each report on an investigation must be submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the head of the agency or agencies investigated, and the Attorney General.
4.0415 Annual Reports
The Territorial Auditor shall report activities and findings to the Legislature and Governor at least once every year and the report shall be made public.
4.0416 Funding for the TAO
Adequate funds shall be provided to allow the Territorial Auditor to carry out the responsibilities of the TAO.
The Territorial Auditor shall prepare a budget in the same form as other agencies and shall be subjected to the sane budget ceilings. The TAO budget shall be included in the Governor's submission to the Legislature. The Territorial Auditor shall have authority within the budget limitations to approve expenditures.
The Territorial Auditor and Managers are not allowed to:
Become a candidate for elective office,
Hold any other public office, except for appointments on governmental advisory boards or study commissions,
Be actively involved with the affairs of a political party,
Actively participate in a political campaign or election,
Hold an interest in a firm or entity which contracts with the TAO,
Conduct or supervise a post-audit of any agency that the Territorial Auditor was responsible for or employed during the past two years,
Make a report publicly of any charges or nonfeasance, misfeasance, or malfeasance without basis.
Chapter 4.0419 Access to Records
The Territorial Auditor, or an employee or contractor of the Territorial Audit Office so designated by the Territorial Auditor, shall have the power to inspect and make copies of books, records, or files of all territorial agencies. This includes computerized records. If records are classified as confidential, the TAO shall maintain the confidentiality of such records and use records for audit purposes.