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Governor seeks help for ASG employees left in the cold

fili@samoanews.com

Department of Human Resources director Evelyn Vaitautolu Langford is being asked to assist career service and contract employees of two ASG offices whose budgets were eliminated by the Fono from the budget of fiscal year 2013, which began yesterday.

The request came from Gov. Togiola Tulafono in a memo yesterday to ASG directors informing departments that there were a number of reductions or cuts that were made by the Fono to the budget proposal submitted by the administration.

Subject of the memo is, “Fono Cuts to the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget — Winding down the operations American Samoa Economic Stimulus and Recovery Office (ASESRO) and the Information Technology Department.”

The memo outlined the cuts — which total $2.65 million affecting six ASG departments and offices. The cuts include the entire budgets for ASESRO and the ASG IT departments.

As a result of the “Fono’s decision to zero-out the budget” for these two offices, there are no funds appropriated in FY 2013 to pay for their operation, said Togiola.

“While a supplemental appropriation has been prepared and forwarded to the Fono for their consideration, there is no way to know whether or not the Fono will act to fund these departments,” he wrote.

He then asked Langford to work to “assist career service and contract employees in these offices to find open positions in other departments that they may be transferred or reassigned to.”

He also asked that the Office of Property Management to inventory and account for government property in use in ASESRO and IT departments and to prepare the property for “repurposing and reallocation.”

“While we work and prepare to wind down and cease the operations of these offices, I ask that no formal personnel action be taken by the Department of Human Resources with regard to the employees of these offices and that no property be reallocated or repurposed until Oct. 12, 2012,” he added.

The current session of the Legislature officially ends tomorrow and the new one convenes next January unless the governor calls a special session between now and then to address the supplemental appropriation and any other urgent matters.



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