Executive orders transfer assets to Corrections and Search & Rescue departments
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — In two separate executive orders issued last week, acting governor Talauega E. V. Ale, formalized the transfer of funding, personnel, property and equipment to the new government agencies — the Department of Corrections; and the Department of Search and Rescue.
In June of last year, the governor issued separate executive orders, which established the American Samoa Corrections Agency; and the American Samoa Search and Rescue Agency
And by Sept. 30, the fiscal year 2023 ASG annual budget was signed into law, providing funding for the two new agencies, but it was included in budgets of other ASG entities.
For the Correctional Agency, funding was included in the annual budget for the Public Safety Department, while Search and Rescue funding was included in both DPS and LBJ Medical Center budgets.
Last December, the two agencies were officially created as ASG departments after the governor signed legislation into law after it was approved by the Fono.
In his Feb. 02, 2023 executive order, Talauega directed that effective Dec. 08, 2022 all personnel, property, assets, equipment, and funding including federal funding assigned or appropriated to other departments, agencies, or offices of ASG for the responsibilities of and services now provided by the Department of Corrections are transferred to the Corrections Department.
The transfer of funding shall include, but is not necessarily limited to $1,792,500 of the Basic Request in the FY 2023 budget to DPS, according to the order.
Also effective as of Dec. 8, 2022, Talauega directed all personnel, property, assets, equipment, and funding including federal funding assigned or appropriated to other ASG departments, agencies, or offices for the responsibilities of and services now provided by the Department of Search and Rescue are transferred to the said department.
The transfer of funding to Search and Rescue, shall include but is not necessarily limited to the more than $1.53 million of the Basic Request and just over $1.07 million in Special Federal Grants provided in the FY 2023 budget to DPS as well as $1 million in Enterprise Funds provided in the FY 2023 budget to the Hospital Authority.
Talauega also ordered directors of all affected departments to cooperate with each other as well as the Treasurer and the directors of Human Resources, Program Planning and Budget, and Office of Property Management to ensure a smooth transition and transfer of responsibilities between the existing departments and the two new ASG departments.
Talauega says that there is a need to provide for efficient and effective funding and operations for the two new departments. The two executive orders are effective immediately.