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COVID task force and ‘some’ directors expected to serve in new admin

File photo of government’s COVID-19 Task Force
Task force has already laid out plans through Jan. 30, 2021

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Members of the government’s COVID-19 Task Force will remain in place until the end of January 2021, as the Lolo Administration transitions ASG to the incoming administration of governor-elect, Lt. Gov. Lemonu Palepoi Silage Mauga and lieutenant governor-elect Talauega Eleasalo Vaalele Ale — who will be asking some current directors to continue serving when the new government takes office.

This is according to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga in his opening remarks at last Wednesday’s final cabinet meeting for the out-going administration at Gov. Rex Lee Auditorium, where US Department of Interior local field representative Lydia Faleafine-Nomura was recognized for her tireless service to the government and people of American Samoa.

The governor informed cabinet members that he has twice met with the governor-elect, who has been presented with a summary of government reports, for a smooth transition to the new administration. Lolo pointed out preparations for transition to a new administration is not an easy task.

He said that all executive branch cabinet members will officially finish their terms at the end of the current administration, but the COVID-19 Task Force — which plays a key role in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic protecting American Samoa’s borders — will transition over to the new administration to continue their work.

He said the task force has already laid out plans through Jan. 30, 2021 and the panel will remain in place for 30-days, until the end of January next year unless the new incoming governor appoints a new task force upon taking office.

The governor shared what he called a second important issue, saying that some current cabinet members would be selected by the incoming administration to continue on in government.

And whoever is picked by the incoming administration, Lolo reminded them that it’s a government for everyone and to support the new administration for the benefit of our people.

As in past changes of administrations, all political appointees and executive branch directors submit their official letters of resignation as their service ends on Dec. 31st as the new administration prepares to take over when the new governor and lieutenant governor are sworn into office.

At Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, Lolo commended all cabinet members for their support, and hard work through the last 8 years. Gifts were handed out to all cabinet members on behalf of Lolo and Lemanu — both of whom also received special parting gifts from cabinet members.