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Faleomavaega commends ASTCA leadership, calls for ASTCA to be established by statute

Congressman Faleomavaega congratulated ASTCA on the opening of its new $5.6 million office building, dedicated on Monday, July 2, 2012, in a press release. He commended ASTCA leadership, while also calling for the semi-autonomous agency to be established by law.

Housing its executive offices, customer service and other business offices, the new office building will be central in ASTCA's long term plans to improve telecommunications in the Territory, with the help of more than $91 million in ARRA funding from the U.S. Congress. The facility was also built to incorporate ASTCA's current efforts to include a fiber optics program once it is in place.

 "I believe ASTCA has been one of the best-run agencies in our government and I want to commend Chairman Magalei Logovi'i and the Board of Directors, and especially the dedicated services of Mr. Aleki Sene as Executive Director for all these years. Under Mr. Sene's leadership, ASTCA submitted a competitive grant application to the USDA and was awarded ARRA funding of more than $91 million. These funds will help ASTCA's efforts to bring critically needed improvements for our telecommunication system," Faleomavaega said.

He went on to note that he understands “ASTCA was created by authority of an administrative executive order for all these years…” and believes “ASTCA's operations and authority should be established by law and not by executive directive.”

  Faleomavaega said, “administrations come and go, and there appear to be some inconsistencies here in the operations of our government, especially when ASTCA is currently operating under a multi-million dollar budget.”

He asked, “At what level of operations should a local agency be authorized to function in order to require issuance of an executive order?  Or should ASG first pass a law to establish such an agency? These are important questions that warrant consideration by the Fono.”

The congressman’s office is set to lease office space in the new ASTCA building, which was first publicly announced by Faleomavaega, during the Opening Ceremony of the building on July 2nd.