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Lolo issues an ASG Shutdown Order… if federal gov’t shuts down

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga [SN file photo]
Says federal shutdown will have a direct impact on ASG finances

If a federal government shutdown commences at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20th, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has issued an ASG Shutdown Order, outlining procedures to take and exempted services since a federal shutdown will have a direct impact on ASG finances.

Congress passed late last year a partial federal budget for FY 2018, which expires at midnight tonight.

In the governor’s order, released by the Governor’s Office yesterday afternoon, Lolo orders the shutdown of all non-essential ASG operations funded exclusively through federal resources.

However, the exception is given to those services that may be exempted by the US President.

Lolo said the LBJ Medical Center, American Samoa Community College, Education Department and all first responders would be among the agencies locally exempted from the shutdown. Also exempted are contract employees.

“ASG personnel funded exclusively by federal resources, not including exempted agencies or personnel, are directly affected by this order and should therefore stay home from work,” the governor wrote. “Locally funded employees should be reassigned as necessary to ensure that departments and agencies are not compromised.”

According to the governor, employees affected by this order are not authorized to take annual, sick, or compensatory time leave for the duration of the federal shutdown.

And if the federal shutdown occurs over the weekend beginning Jan. 20th, the order shall take immediate effect and remain in effect until the federal shutdown order is lifted, Lolo explained.

“I urge all of you to make sure that the quality of services to our people is maintained by assigning locally funded personnel to take over the vacuum created by this shutdown,” he continued. “It is unfortunate that we must furlough employees, but we cannot jeopardize our financial integrity.”

“If the federal policy precludes the payment of lost work time, our approved budget lacks the financial capacity to absorb this cost,” he said and encouraged all government employees to follow local and U.S national news over the weekend to determine whether or not to report to work on Monday morning.

“If your agency faces special circumstances which significantly affect your services to the community, please discuss them with me personally,” he concluded.

Samoa News will provide updates online on any developments out of Congress on this matter.