New nominees for Retirement Board include four cabinet directors
Four cabinet directors are among the six new nominees appointed by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga for the ASG Employees Retirement Fund board of trustees. The governor also re-appointed a current board member.
The governor nominated ASG Treasurer Dr. Falema’o ‘Phil’ M. Pili, Human Resources director Sonny Thompson, chief election officer Tuaolo M. Fruean, and Attorney General Afoa Moega Lutu, to represent fund members.
Representing the private business sector are Roy J.D. Hall Jr., Robin Annesley-Dalton and Brant ‘BJ’ Judy — who is the only returning board member. Judy was rejected during the current special session.
Pili’s term is for five years; Thompson and Hall serve for four years each; Tuaolo and Annesley-Dalton each serve for three-years; and Afoa and Judy are to serve two year terms each.
The Governor’s Office didn’t immediately respond to Samoa News questions as to why cabinet members are being appointed to this board, when the governor has made public his policy that no director will be appointed to any ASG board or commission.
In his nomination letter to the Fono leaders, the governor said all of the nominees should be well known to the Legislature. For example, Pili has spent his career in government finance and currently serves as Treasurer.
Thompson, after a distinguished military career, worked in the tuna industry for a number of years before joining the government, first as director of the Department of Administrative Services and now as director of Human Resources, said Lolo.
Tuaolo has held leadership positions in all three branches of government, serving as associate judge in the High Court, then in the Legislature — both the Senate and House — and then as Police Commissioner, before serving in his current post as head of the Election Office.
According to the governor, Afoa is serving in his second administration as attorney general and he has also spent many years managing a private law practice, has served as a member of the House and as executive director of the Constitution Office.
Afoa “will join the Senate in January, having been recently selected to hold one of the [senatorial] seats” for Maoputasi county, he said.
From the private sector, the governor said, Hall has nearly 40 years experience in the private practice of law, representing a broad range of clients including major financial institutions. In years past, Hall also provided legal counsel to the Senate and he is currently chairman for the American Samoa TeleCommunications board.
As to Annesley-Dalton, she has spent her career in the private sector managing various family businesses, including Osini Faleatasi, Inc., publisher of the Samoa News, said Lolo, adding that the nominee served for many years on the Territorial Planning Commission and is a former president of the local Chamber of Commerce.
As for Judy, the governor said, this nominee is resubmitted for Fono consideration; the nominee has retired after spending many years as chief financial officer of GHC Reid. Judy has been on the Retirement Board for over ten years and “will be able to provide continuity to bridge the change in Retirement Fund leadership,” the governor said.
Lolo said this group of individuals brings to the board a broad range of experience.
“With backgrounds in finance, the law, human resources management, government administration and private sector industry, they represent a well-rounded cross section of leaders, well prepared to shepherd the Retirement Fund into the next generation,” the governor concluded.
The nominees were introduced yesterday in both the Senate and House and assigned to respective committees for review.
The House Retirement Committee hearing is scheduled for 9a.m. today and to be voted on tomorrow, which is also the date the Senate Retirement Committee will hear testimonies from the nominees to be followed by a Senate vote.
According to the Fono leaders, this is the last issue on the agenda for the special session to deal with and the special session is now set to end tomorrow.
Samoa News should note that Pili, Annesley-Dalton and Judy are all currently off-island.
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