Gov creates new positions for rejected director-nominees
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has created a new position of “administrator” to oversee the Territorial Energy Office with Timothy Jones to take this new post, while appointing Pa’u Taito Roy Ausage as Acting Director of the Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs.
The new changes by the governor came after the Senate last Thursday rejected Jones as TEO director and Pa’u as director of DYWA. Because of the Senate vote, the men are now officially rejected by the Fono and under local law, the governor is required to appoint new nominees for these two directorship posts.
It’s unclear as to how the Fono will react to these appointments given the fact the TEO budget hearing last Friday was postponed to another time due to Jones being rejected by the Senate.
DYWA’s budget hearing is scheduled for this afternoon, according to the revised budget hearing schedule.
Lolo established the administrator post the same day the Senate handed down its vote and revealed his decision in a Sept. 5 letter to Human Resources director Sonny Thompson.
In the letter Lolo said said Jones will provide administrative and management oversight over the TEO’s operation, especially the alternative energy initiative developed jointly with the American Samoa Power Authority and the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency.
“A new position of Administrator is herein established within the TEO providing administrative and management oversight over the day to day operation of the agency until a director is appointed,” he said.
Jones will report directly to the governor on all administrative and management issues of the agency, according to the letter, which also directs the head of HR to prepare the documents facilitating the establishment of this position. A copy of Jones’ contract was also sent to the HR director.
For now and until a new director is appointed, Lolo says, funds earmarked to defray the salary of the director will be utilized to defray costs for this new position.
“There are currently critical alternative energy initiatives which are being developed and pursued which will materially and significantly reduce the financial burden on our people through reduced electrical rates,” the governor said.
Jones “plays a pivotal role in these new developments given his vast experience and technical expertise in the area of alternative energy,” he added.
Responding to Samoa News request for comments, the governor’s office said ASG has major alternative energy projects which are ongoing and Jones' expertise is needed to work collaboratively with ASPA for these green energy initiatives, which include Geo Thermal energy.
“A grant has been secured and attributed to the efforts of the Alternative Energy Committee to conduct testing of our Geo Thermal capacity. This option is believed to be the panacea to our future energy challenges,” it said.
In a memo on Monday this week, the governor appointed Pa’u as acting director of DYWA, saying that major initiatives have been placed in motion to improve the quality of programs dedicated to the development of our youth and women “thus empowering them to realistically achieve their dreams and aspirations.”
Some of these initiatives entail cooperation and collaboration with independent countries based on executed Memoranda of Understanding, Lolo said and noted that since the inception of his administration, many programs have been established under the “transformative leadership” of Pa’u, “elevating the status of youth and women” of the territory.
“We have made it our mission to serve the people of American Samoa with the best we have, hence, it behooves me to find leaders with demonstrated competency and capacity to ensure the delivery of quality services to the people of American Samoa,” he said.
Pa’u has “demonstrated leadership competence and versatility” and therefore is appointed acting director, the governor added.
Samoa News should point out the appointment of a rejected director-nominee as acting director to continue to lead their government department is not new. Under the previous Administration, the acting director for the Department of Health continued to hold the position until replaced by the current governor with his nominee; while, the director-designee of the Department of Education, held the leadership position until replaced by the present governor — both were appointed by then Governor Togiola Tulafono after they were rejected by the Fono as directors of their respective departments.
THE NEW COMMENTS PROCESS
To make comments, you will need to register. You can register under your real name or use a 'screen' name. This way, people will be able to follow comments and make comments back and forth to each other. If you choose to use a 'screen name' no one will know your true identity. In either case, no email addresses will be available to anyone. It is an automated process. If you have questions, email: email@example.com
You currently are not logged in, please LOGIN to post comments.