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Lolo addresses issue of gov’t vehicle abuse - again

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Lt. Gov. Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga
Impounded vehicles will be paid for, out of pocket, by directors

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, in a memorandum dated Sept. 9, 2019, has once again raised the longstanding issue of government vehicle abuse.

Addressed to the Secretary of Samoan Affairs, CEOs, directors, and executive directors of ASG departments and agencies, Lolo wrote, “At the onset of our administration, a vehicle policy was issued to thwart the flagrant use of government vehicles for personal business”…. and after working hours.

Lolo reminded that vehicles found to be on the public highway after working hours are to be impounded, and a $500 fine has been established “to be paid by the director, from his or her own personal resources, to facilitate the release of the impounded vehicle.”

According to the governor, directors are authorized to use government vehicles to ensure that they respond to emergencies and other demands of their jobs throughout the duration of their tenures as directors.

“In the event the director travels for personal or business related activities, the vehicle will be utilized by the designated Acting Director, until the director returns. The current practice of parking the vehicle at home during the period of his/her travel is to cease,” the governor wrote.

He made it clear that deputy directors are not extended the same vehicle privilege of 24/7 use of a government vehicle. “If the deputy director is deemed to require the use of a government vehicle after hours, the director will make the request to the Governor for approval, detailing the justification and the requested period of use.”

Lolo continued, “It has been revealed that some of the agencies have opened up AP accounts with service stations on island to circumvent security of fuel usage. This memo promulgates the termination of this practice. If there is an overriding reason why this practice is necessary, relative to the impact of the quality of your agency’s services to the people, submit the request for my review and approval.”

Copies of the governor’s memo were forwarded to Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga, and Governor’s Office Chief of Staff, Fia Johnny Saelua.