Senate again rejects Governor's choices for TEO and DYWA
The Senate has again rejected Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga’s re-nominations of Pa’u Fuiavailili Roy Taito Ausage as director of the Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs and Timothy Jones Sr. as director of the Territorial Energy Office.
With the Senate action, the governor is now required by law to submit new nominees for both posts. This can be done during the current session, which is set to end on Sept. 27 or when the third regular session convenes in January.
In the House, the DYWA director-nominee was approved while Jones was rejected, but his nomination remained alive after a motion of reconsideration was approved. The House has yet to re-vote on Jones, but whatever their decision, it's official after the Senate’s action.
The Senate vote, which was carried out yesterday, was 4 “yes” and 9 “no” for both nominees, who were first rejected by the Senate early this year. Each nominee would need at least 10 yes votes to be confirmed.
Names of the two nominees were introduced in the Senate last week and assigned to the appropriate committees for confirmation hearings, but Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie reminded senators that the Senate has already held confirmation hearings on both nominees when they were submitted the first time and therefore senators have been fully briefed on the two appointments.
Therefore, he asked the respective committee chairmen to report the nominations out of committee for a decision by the Senate membership.
Pa’u has been acting director since the Lolo administration took office in January this year and was deputy director since 2001. He also served as assistant director for the same department between 1997 and 2001.
The governor says that aside from Pa’u’s many years of experience in developing and implementing youth and women’s programs in the territory, the nominee “has extensive academic credentials.”
Jones has been acting director for TEO since January and helped establish a good working relationship with the American Samoa Power Authority. He led the way in revitalizing the American Samoa Renewable Energy Council, for which he is the chairman.
The governor says Jones can manage the TEO into a future where the territory will rely less on costly fossil fuels and be more reliant on renewable resources.