Lolo admonishes directors who try to circumvent DHR
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has issued a stern warning to Directors who are making promises of salaries and wages to employees without going through the correct process. In a memorandum issued prior to his departure, the governor noted that each Director will be held liable for such decisions if legal actions are filed by an employee.
He stated that the proliferation in the number of requests sent to him by Directors to approve salaries/wages for employees necessitates this memorandum, and he wants to reaffirm the existence of local statutes defining policies and procedures connected with salary and wage determination.
“The practice that I’m beginning to observe — that practice being adopted by some of you, of offering a salary/wage to an employee, before the position is sent to the Department of Human Resources for classification, prior to the positions being advertised — is unacceptable.
“This approach has forced some of you to seek an Executive Override contradicting established personnel rules and regulations which further destroys and undermines the integrity of our merit system" he wrote.
The governor ordered that all agencies must follow and comply with established rules and regulations connected with the salary wage determination prescribed in Title 7, Chapter 4, Section 7.0401 of the American Samoa Code Annotated and companion American Samoa Administrative Code.
The governor noted that any position will be sent to the Human Resources along with the recommended position description to be classified, evidenced with the assigned salary/wage range before the position is advertised.
“With the assigned salary attached to the position, the applicant knows the lower and the upper limits of the salary wage to expect. The actual salary will be determined based on experience and demonstrated competencies, but the amount cannot exceed the upper limit or fall below the lower limit of the salary/wage range attached to the position. The director of the requesting agency can request a salary/wage is above the minimum which is defined by the lower limit of the salary range.”
The governor concluded that he will not act, nor approve any request from any director for a salary/wage for any employee that failed to comply with existing policies and procedures prescribed by prevailing statutes as outlined above.
“Directors who promise salaries/wages without going through the established process will be held liable for such decisions if legal action is filed by an employee.”