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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Tintali Joins Insular Affairs to Promote Accountability



FOR IMMEDIATELY RELEASE
For more information contact
Parsky (202) 208-4070

(Washington, D.C., May 23, 2004) Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior David B. Cohen announced today that Marina Tinitali has been hired to coordinate the efforts of the Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs to promote accountability for Federal grants to the territories.  Tinitali, who was raised in American Samoa, formerly served as an auditor and grant program specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"Promoting accountability for Federal grants is one of our top priorities, and it's significant that we've hired someone to focus exclusively on that effort," said Cohen.  "Marina has extensive experience with Federal grants programs in the islands, both from the auditing perspective and the program management perspective.  We're proud that someone who is from the islands will have the opportunity to serve the islands in such an important way."

Before moving to Washington, D.C. to take her new position, Tinitali served for the past six years in Honolulu managing FEMA hazard mitigation grants.  Prior to that, Tinitali was a FEMA auditor based in California for over nine years.  From both locations, Tinitali was involved in FEMA activities in Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.

At the Office of Insular Affairs, one of Tinitali's primary responsibilities will be to monitor the performance of each insular area on the accountability factors that will be used to determine eligibility for OIA grants.  These factors include the strength and independence of the public auditor's office, timeliness of required audits, resolution of audit findings and compliance with reporting requirements.

"One of Marina's first major tasks will be to assemble the information necessary to assist in determining accountability. Among other duties, she will help with follow-up on the provisions of the OIA Financial Assistance Manual, assist with audit compliance and help monitor the special agreements with all our island partners," said OIA Director Nikolao Pula. "We know that she has the ability to hit the ground running."

Tinitali is the daughter of Aliitasi Levao Tinitali of  the village of Tau in Manua, American Samoa and Dr. Patea Tomasone Tinitali of the village of Vaitogi, American Samoa. She is a graduate of Fa'asao High School and California State University.

The Office of Insular Affairs administers the Federal Government's relationship with the territories of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa; and administers financial assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau under the Compacts of Free Association.