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CoC pleased with governor’s decision to include biz community in ASTCA board

The Chamber of Commerce is pleased with Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga’s decision to include members of the business community in the American Samoa TeleCommunications board of directors.


The governor recently issued an executive order amending the 1998 order that established ASTCA as a semi autonomous agency. In the amended order, he increased to nine the number of board members. The governor also gave himself the authority to appoint the board chairman.


According to the new order, five members from the private sector are selected on the basis of character, competence, education, accounting and finance experience and judgement.


Responding to Samoa News request for comments and reactions, the Chamber said in a media statement last Friday that the business organization is pleased to note that the Governor is nominating more private sector people to various boards.


“The Chamber believes that the importance of a strong board should not be underestimated regardless of the industry,” it says. “A balance of carefully selected people from both the private and the public sectors can assist the board chair in being more effective while the board through its experience and knowledge can make balanced and informed decisions which will be of benefit to the entity which they are serving.”


“This makes the entity more dynamic, more progressive, and hopefully leads to the creation of more job opportunities though the careful management and expansion of its business,” the statement says.


Asked as to the benefit to ASG and the territory in increasing the number of board members for ASTCA, the governor’s executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira  said broader views and perspectives forge better decisions.


Current board members appointed earlier this year, are Roy J.D. Hall Jr. (chairman), Steven Shalhout, Dr. Trudie Iuli Sala,  Bill Young, Alofagia Nomura, George Reid, and Iuli Alex Godinet.


The governor has stated publicly that he wants to include the private sector in ASG boards and commissions to provide a broader range of expertise on each board and commission. He has also made it a point not to appoint any director or ASG senior personnel to sit on any board and commission, adding that those ASG officials should focus on their work.