FONO CONFIRMS DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DEPARTMENT
The Fono has officially confirmed Malemo Tausaga as director of the Department of Administrative Services for the current administration. The House gave its endorsement last Friday and the Senate’s approval was given Monday this week in a vote of 12-1.
The Senate vote followed a Senate Government Operations confirmation hearing, which lasted just over five minutes earlier in the day, where Sen. Soliai Tuipine reminded his colleagues that the nominee has been working for the government for many years and is well qualified for the directorship post after serving as director of Budget and Planning Office in the last four years of the Togiola Administration.
Other senators also agreed and praised the nominee for his long outstanding government service, and Malemo was reminded to continue to serve the government and people of the territory honestly.
According to Malemo’s resume, he was a tax officer from 1978 until he joined the Budget Office in 1981 as a financial analyst and was promoted through the ranks until 2008 when he became Budget Office director.
SENATOR CONCERNED WITH FOREIGNERS BEING IMMIGRATION SPONSORS
Sen. Tuiasina S. Esera told his colleagues that he has serious concerns over certain provisions of local immigration laws, especially the one that allows a foreigner who has lived in the territory for some 20 years and been granted permanent status, to sponsor other foreigners to live and work here.
The Tualatai senator made it clear at the outset of his statement during last week’s Senate session that his comments do not include our brothers and sisters from Samoa, as they are blood to American Samoans.
However, he said he has seen an increase in the number of foreigners, especially Asians with permanent status sponsoring people from their own home countries to come here to work and live— creating what he calls more problems in American Samoa. He says there are many Asians living all over Tutuila now, and many of them are not residing with their sponsors as required by law.
Tuiasina, a new member of the ASG Immigration Board, says the government, especially the Fono, should revisit this provision of immigration law dealing with foreigners sponsoring other foreigners, and make necessary changes.
He said this provision of the law is absolutely not right— for the fact that a foreigner is now given the privilege of sponsoring another foreigner to live here. He says these foreigners have already been given the privilege to live and work in the territory but giving them another privilege of being able to sponsor other foreigners is not right.
Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie said this is a very important immigration issue but it's something that has been raised in past years by other senators in previous legislatures.
Gaoteote recommended that Tuiasina work with the Fono’s legal team to review these provisions of the law that are of concern to the senator, and if needed, to submit proper legislation for Fono review and debate.
PULELEI’ITE SPONSORS RESOLUTION FOR INFRASTRUCTURE IN HIS DISTRICT
Representative Pulele’iite Tufele Li’amatua Jr is sponsoring a resolution requesting infrastructure improvements, sidewalk repair and road maintenance for Lauli’i, Amaua, Auto and Fagaitua Villages.
The resolution is calling for the governor to direct the head of Public Works to procure, install and/or repair as necessary, sidewalks, paths for the safety of the community in the Sua District villages, as well as repair and maintain the roads along mountainous areas for the ease and safe access of residents and off-road vehicles, with the funding available from the Emergency Fund Loan and District funds from the ASGERF-ASG infrastructure loan.
According to the resolution which was introduced in the House earlier this week, sidewalks play an important role in transportation and they provide a safe path which is separated from the motorists. Sidewalks also help provide equal access to people who cannot drive, notably children, the elderly and the economically disadvantaged and sidewalks are also used for recreational exercise.
The villages which lack sidewalks are, Laulii, Amaua, Auto and Fagaitua.
The roads alongside the mountain area in Sua District villages are also in dire need of repair and maintenance. Relying heavily upon their agricultural provisions it's necessary for residents to have easily accessible roads to their farms where they raise livestock and provide produce for the local economy.
Ease of access will also ensure the safety of off-road vehicles which are necessary for farming and maintenance of plantations. Due to poorly kept roads and uncontrollable weather conditions there is a constant threat for serious accidents that may cause injury to the community. The lack of sidewalks and hazardous road conditions alongside mountain areas mean Sua District residents are at a daily disadvantage, said the faipule.
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