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HR Director reviews DPS overtime pay for compliance

Close to 20 police officers are disappointed with the move by Department of Human Resources to hold off on paying their overtime for the period of December 2012 and January 2013 for the Underage Drinking Enforcement, which was to be paid from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funding.


Fred Scanlan, Federal Highway Safety Coordinator with Department of Public Safety, confirmed that the funding which was mandated to pay for these enforcements has been approved by the grantors; however the hold up is with HR Director Le’i Sonny Thompson.


Scanlan noted these enforcements also included the "Click It or Ticket" and the "Don’t Drink and Drive" campaigns. According to Scanlan, if the funding is not used in a timely manner, including paying the officers, this will have an affect on the program and most likely the money will be decreased. Worse, if it's not being used in the timeframe allocated for the funding, it may cease to be available he says.


Samoa News sent queries to the HR Director via email for comments on this issue. Le’i, responded that since the new administration took office, all Personnel Actions/Transaction dating back six months prior and not budgeted for FY 2012 and 2013 were to be reviewed for legitimacy and compliance with ASAC Title 4 and ASCA Title 7.


“Subsequently; the Governor issued a Memorandum to prohibit certain transactions from occurring without his personal approval.”


One of those transactions was in regard to overtime pay. 


“All overtime was sent to HR to be reviewed for compliance relative to grade (GS -12 and above, WG – 17 and above are not eligible for overtime pay.”


Last month, the HR Director sent out a memorandum to serve as a reminder that compensation time (i.e. "comp time) and overtime were included in the Cost Containment Measures that were issued in January.


The HR Director, on Tuesday, noted the second issue on the delay is because there were 11 police officers who submitted GAS Form 40 to be paid under NHTSA Funds. 


“Police officers consider this overtime a “Second Job”, if so, HR questions the legitimate concern of other officers. How can they (all police officers) become eligible to receive this second job?” Le'i asked.


Le’i said that he met with Commissioner William Haleck, about this matter “to ensure that this-Second Job — is made known to all officers and to ensure that qualification measures are afforded to other cops so they, too, can apply.


“That is why HR is involved. Any perception or fact that there might be... personal preference for certain persons or groups, ASCA Title 7 requires the HR Director to look into it and resolve it.”


Le’i said the duties already performed by these fine officers will be paid soon, but moving forward, the processes and programs concerning eligibility must be adhered to.