Acting Governor reminds Cabinet of their duties and obligations
“Once the governor’s signature is on a document it’s our job to fix it — including me — and make sure it moves forward,” said Acting Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, during the governor’s conference call on Wednesday with cabinet members.
“I don't know if it’s a misconception, confusion or you just don't care… tasking and requesting are two different things,” he told the Cabinet.
“I hope that everybody understands that anything that come out from the governor’s office is tasking. Tasking meaning that you are going to do it, not deny it or change it.”
The Acting Governor did not mince words to cabinet members at the meeting, pointing out that if the document is questionable they should address it right away. “If there’s a question or anything that you think is not right, address it and we will work on it.”
He said there’s a lot of paperwork that’s already signed, yet it’s being changed. “A lot of things that have been signed by the governor have been changed along the route, because I’ve seen it, for the last two or three weeks. It’s been signed, however, it’s changed as it goes through the different departments. People are just putting changes on it.”
“I don't think that’s right, I know that’s not right,” said Lemanu. He further pointed out that if the governor signs it, it’s good to go.
“Once the governor’s signature is on the document its our job to fix it, including me (Lt Governor) and make sure it moves forward. If it’s illegal then we need to find a way to legalize it, we don't question the signature.”
He said, “We need to make it right, but how do we do that? We need to converse — director to director. If there’s something wrong you can't just hold it because you think you don't like it.”
The Acting governor said if the director is going to hold on to it, at least bring it to his attention; then they can discuss it. But once the governor’s signature is on it — it’s a go.
“Our job is to make sure it goes,” he repeated. “It’s the right thing to do and … not for the governor to find out two weeks later, that what he signed is being held by some department because… for whatever reason. Make it work,” said Lemanu.
FY 2015 BUDGET TASK
Lemanu informed the directors that by next week a memo will go out for each department to work together with Treasury and Budget for the next fiscal year 2015. He said upon the return of the Budget Director, then directors will sit down with Treasury and Budget for a briefing to learn how to format the slide show so that every director will come back with the right information to put the budget together for 2015.
Acting Governor Lemanu said there are still reports of government vehicles being seen after hours, and it’s very disconcerting. The use of government fuel is increasing and also there’s a concern over the increase of vehicle requests for purchase.
“The way to do it is, if you’re going to purchase a new vehicle, you have to get rid of the old vehicle,” he said. “We can’t purchase new vehicles and keep on adding on to the fleet, because the more you add to the fleet the bigger the need for more gas.”
“Keep that in mind whenever you submit a request for a new vehicle… that a vehicle will be taken away from your fleet. I think we have more than enough vehicles to support the whole government, when you can, borrow and request another department for their vehicle,” said Lemanu to the cabinet.
Commissioner of Public Safety William Bill Haleck pointed out to cabinet members that although it’s good for the directors to take the car home, during the weekend, “if you’re off the clock, in the spirit of helping the government out in terms of fuel… is it possible to use your personal car, and park the ASG car… to save fuel?”
“So if we do our part to help… the government to cut down on fuel cost — that would very much benefit all of us,” Haleck said.
The Commissioner stated that the Administration should punish government employees who continue to violate ASG’s vehicle policy. The Acting Governor responded that utilizing ASG vehicles is the director’s prerogative.
“The vehicle was given to you, agreed that you can use it, 24 hrs… you can take your spouse to a restaurant” but Lemanu made it clear the directors cannot use the ASG vehicle for a faalavelave. “I’m very sure you know the limitations in the use of the government vehicle.”
The Acting Governor also pointed out that for the Manu’a employees who are working for the governor’s office in Manu’a, they need to “at least inform the governor’s office” when they come to Tutuila. Lemanu said whether they are on island for family obligations, they need to inform the governor’s office and ASG needs to account for their employees in Manu’a, who come to Tutuila.