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ASG's overtime policy still non-compliant with USDOL, says Lolo

"Any problems within an agency reflects badly on the director"

The American Samoa Government’s overtime policy is still not being followed as US Department of Labor officials have raised questions on this serious issue, according to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga at last Thursday’s cabinet meeting.

Lolo says there are still problems with departments and agencies not complying with ASG’s overtime policy and USDOL officials have reported this non-compliance as well as questions raised about employees clocking in at 6a.m. and then roaming around without doing any work, with the director not being aware.

The governor called on all directors to keep a close eye on various aspects of their agencies including personnel costs, saying that there is no reason why an employee would clock in at 5a.m or 6a.m while ASG offices open at 7:30a.m. or 8a.m.

“When the person clocks in, that’s when the person should start working,” Lolo said and re-emphasized again the current policy of 'no overtime' and if overtime is needed, prior approval is required before overtime work is carried out.

Lolo recalled two Saturdays ago, when some employees didn’t do anything throughout the week but then on that Saturday, they decided to work. Lolo didn’t identify the department or agency the employees belong to.

He again called on directors to pay close attention to what’s happening within their departments and agencies, adding that the reason why work is not carried out during work-hours is because the director is not making sure a work schedule is in place.

He said directors shouldn’t have others oversee and manage their departments, and stressed that the director is responsible for their department or office and “no one else”. He said any problems within an agency reflect badly on the director, who is the leader.

Lolo said this is the same if there are any problems in government; it falls on the leaders, him and Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga.

For agencies with offices in the Manu’a island group, Lolo told directors to enforce the clean-up in Manu’a on Thursdays and Fridays. He said some employees in Manu’a think there are only three working days of the week.

But Lolo explained to directors to enforce and encourage work days and hours — for Manu'a employees — three days of office work and the other two days for clean-up, which is very important, and the reason the government stepped in with its clean-up project, is because of its importance to the community's health and safety.

According to the governor, clean-up is very important as a prevention measure against diseases.