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AG disables time clock at main immigration and airport offices

Attorney General, Talauega Eleasalo Ale. [SN file photo]

Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale has “disabled until further notice” the time clocks for the main Immigration Office at the EOB in Utulei and the airport, and this is effective immediately, according to the AG’s Nov. 7th memo.

“This is an extreme measure to combat the continuous disregard for the ASG overtime policies and the [Department of] Legal Affairs policies on attendance and overtime,” Talauega said, adding that except for airport staff, immigration officers “must” clock in and out using the time clock at the AG’s Office.

He stressed that work hours are from 7:30am. to 4p.m. and employees “cannot clock in” before start time, and clock out after the end of work time  — “without prior written approval.”

According to the AG, immigration airport staff supervisors will be responsible for writing down work times of airport staff and they “must turn the time in on a weekly basis, directly to the AG’s Office.”

The new time clock policy has prompted criticism within the Immigration Office, especially at the airport. Some Immigration employees have taken their complaints to their lawmakers.

However, Talauega has defended his action and pointed to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga’s Oct. 2, 2017 executive order, which fully enforces the Executive Branch’s regulations on overtime and compensatory time. The governor requires that all directors fully comply with the latest policy.

According to Lolo, it’s the “general policy” of the government not to incur overtime.

And if overtime is unavoidable, the director “must seek permission” from the governor or the lieutenant governor, before it happens.

(See Samoa News Oct. 11th edition for details)