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Personnel Workforce Review begins

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has ordered a review of the American Samoa Government’s personnel cost, with Human Resources Director Le’i Sonny Thompson to spearhead it. This was revealed in a letter the governor sent to all government departments and agencies.


“The One-Hundred-Days bench Mark of our administration in office is fast approaching and among our list of immediate short and long term goals, is a complete Personnel Workforce Review of the government’s workforce to include how much it truly costs us,” said Lolo in his April 1, 2013 letter.


He noted that personnel costs are one of the most expensive fixed overheads, and the government must clearly understand and be intimately familiar with its ins and outs.


“This time consuming and cumbersome process, yet absolutely vital to our cost containment measures, must be completed quickly considering the state of our unstable economy and anticipated possible reduction in federal grants,” said the governor.


The HR Director, responding to Samoa News questions, explained that the Personnel Workforce Review is a basic fundamental mandatory function in the Human Resources profession, that is to assess and evaluate a workforce in terms of the total number of people employed, its cost in comparison to incoming revenue or payroll; the dollar amount budget each year for the payroll; career services vs. contracts or non-permanent appointments; workforce breakdown (men vs. women; degree holders vs. non-degree holders; white collar vs. blue collar; salary variances; tenure or year groups); etc.


Le’i said the vital process can provide factual information to the governor to make pertinent decisions relative to how personnel costs contribute to the overall ASG fiscal plan. 


“Give or take, the ASG workforce totals almost 5,000, and it’s estimated at more than $83 million dollar cost alone in salaries, not including benefits (annual leave, sick leave, death gratuity; and other personnel related costs) —it is one of the most expensive fixed overheads,” he noted.


“The governor made a right decision to review the total ASG workforce; especially in times of local budget constraints and anticipated reduction in federal grants, and not to mention future mandatory minimum wage implementations,” said the HR Director.


Governor Lolo noted in his letter this review will kick off on April 8, 2013 until its completion and he’s instructed HR Director to spearhead this review with Treasurer Falema’o Phil Pili and Budget Director Catherine Dora Aigamaua-Saelua. Part of its focus is to review payroll and budget reconciliations of personnel costs.