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DBAS board nominations introduced in Senate

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has nominated five new members to the nine-member  Development Bank of American Samoa board of directors, and the nominees include two current lawmakers, a former senator and a former DBAS board member.


The nominations of Senate ProTemp Nua Saoluaga, House Vice Speaker Talia Faafetai Iaulualo, Fiapa’ipa’i Fruean, Leapei Fa’aola and Malepeai Setu were introduced in the Senate yesterday with confirmation hearings set for 9 a.m. tomorrow.


Local law states that the affairs of DBAS must be managed and its corporate powers exercised by a board, which consists of ten members, nine of whom are to be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate only. The DBAS president is a non voting ex officio member of the board and the president may not serve as chairman.


The board chairman is elected by a majority of the board and board members each serve two-year terms. At least four of the board members are representatives of private business or financial interests in American Samoa.


In his Mar. 25 nomination letter  Lolo says Nua will replace former senator and current Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga for the seat traditionally held by a nominee of the Senate. Additionally, Talia replaces Rep. Faimealelei Anthony Allen for the seat traditionally held by a nominee of the House.


Fruean, Fa’aola and Malepeai will fill the “remaining three vacant seats” on the board, said Lolo, who pointed out that all the nominees bring valuable experience to the DBAS board.


For example, he said Nua has been involved in a number of small  business activities over the years and Talia has “a strong financial background”. (Talia served as deputy Treasurer a few years ago.)


Lolo also says that Fruean, since retiring from the High Court, has been running several successful small business enterprises. (Fruean was re-nominated to the board by former governor Togiola Tulafono in September 2011, but was rejected by the Senate at the time. Thereafter, the former governor appointed Fruean as a board member)


According to the governor, Malelpeai, who retired from the ASG Treasury Department, has strong financial management skills, while Fa’aola brings with him many years of experience in governmental affairs.


(Malepeai served as senator in the last four years and Fa’aola has been with the Legislative Financial Office for many years)




According to information obtained by Samoa News the four current board members are: Malemo Tauaga (the current chairman); Taiulagi Mauga,  Samana Semo Ve’ave’a and Seti Lopa Seti.


Meanwhile DBAS has been without a president since Lolo Matalasi Moliga stepped down early last year for a successful run as governor. Togiola had nominated Leilua Stevenson to the post but Stevenson was rejected by the Senate last September. DBAS vice president Jason Betham has been Acting President since Lolo stepped down.


Local law states that the governor, with the approval of the board, appoints a DBAS president, with consent of the Senate. Additionally, the bank president is responsible for the operation of DBAS  with the assistance of such other officers and employees as the Board may authorize. The salary of the president and other officers is established by the Board.