Pulele’iite officially introduced as new ASTCA board chair & interim Exec. Director

reporters@samoanews.com

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga (right) shakes hands with Rep. Pulele’iite Liamatua Tufele, the new chairman of the American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority, before the start yesterday morning of the cabinet meeting, where the governor officially introduced Pulele’iite, not only as the new board chairman but the interim executive director. (See yesterday’s Samoa News story for details)

At every cabinet meeting, heads of ASG semi autonomous agencies are given the chance to report on any latest development issues. When it was his turn, Pulele’iite told the meeting that the board is working on various changes to improve ASTCA’s service. One of those improvements is for internet service to the outside world that is currently been provided through the American Samoa Hawaii Cable — the undersea fiber optic cable and the O3b satellite.

ASTCA is also working on improving cell phone services for outlying villages on the north side of Tutuila, he said and asked to give the new board a chance to get additional improvements to ASTCA done in moving forward.

BACKGROUND

In an Apr. 24, 2017 memo, the governor appointed five members of the ASTCA board.  Pulele’iite was appointed not only as a member, but as chairman. Other members are Taiulagi Mauga, Omar Shalhout, Sen. Faiivae A. Godinet and Alofagia Nomura.

In a memo, dated May 22, 2017, Pulele’iite officially announced his appointment by the ASTCA board, of which he is chair, as interim executive director.

It’s unknown at this time when Pulele’iite will resign as faipule, as according to local law he cannot serve as ASTCA CEO and faipule at the same time.

The revised Constitution of American Samoa, Article II Legislature, Section 13. Vacancies notes that “when vacancies occur in either House, the Governor or the person exercising the functions of Governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies except that if any such vacancy shall occur within three months of the next regular election, no special election shall be held and the Governor shall appoint a qualified person to fill such vacancy.” The next regular election for faipule would be in November 2018 — about 17 months away.

 

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