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ASG calls for its departments to evaluate the status of short-term contract employees

In moving forward, the ASG Department of Human Resources is requiring the assistance of all department directors and heads of agencies in evaluating the status of short-term contract employees within each ASG entity.

In a May 22nd memo to cabinet directors, Human Resources director Eseneiaso J. Liu points out that DHR has been sending out reminders to directors at least 90-days prior to the expiration of an employee’s short-term contact.

The requirement has been for the agency to then process a contract extension or renewal for the employee in order to continue employment with ASG, she explained.

“Moving forward, however, rather than defaulting to a decision of whether to extend or renew an employee’s expiring short term contract, evaluate first whether said employee should be retained,” she suggests.

And if the employee’s performance of duties has not been satisfactory, directors are to submit a personnel action not to extend or renew the contact before it expires. Directors were also reminded of provisions of the American Samoa Administrative Code, which states in part that, “It is the policy of the ASG to ensure that employees whose performance of their duties or conduct are not satisfactory are removed from their position promptly.”

“Additionally, we strongly advise that you include in your reviews the performance or conduct of retirees that have been hired back under short-term contracts,” she wrote to directors.

“If the position is necessary, replace the... retiree by transferring/promoting an existing satisfactory employee or hiring a qualified applicant from our pool of college gradates and other eligibles,” Liu explained.

She also reminded directors that, “funding shortfall and cost containment measures in place require us to become more efficient in our operations.”

In closing Liu said the memo on short-term contract employees is “intended to drive decisions within your departments and agencies that are needed in order that we as a collective may become more efficient during these lean times.”

Samoa News notes that over the years, many in the community as well as some lawmakers have complained about ASG retirees being hired back as contract workers, many of them on short-term contracts, instead of giving these government jobs to the many unemployed in the territory or returning college graduates looking for jobs.

Since taking office in January 2013, the Lolo Administration has been advocating ASG entities to recruit returning college graduates.