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HR 100-day Report: Still in review mode for unauthorized budgetary positions

We are still in the Review Mode for all and any unauthorized budgetary positions or salary adjustments per the Cost Containment Memorandum and roll them back”, stated Human Resources Director Le’i Sonny Thompson on his ‘first 100 day’ report to Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga.


According to the HR Director, in their first 100 Days, the HR was diligently working very hard to identify and substantiate any and all incomplete human resources action/transactions utilizing the Transition Report and word of mouth from the remaining department personnel.


“Our objective was to clear all outstanding personnel matters; first those federally mandated… then those locally pending; especially cases which might put this administration on liability. Then finally, set our goals and objectives and the plan to accomplish them moving forward.”




According to the HR report, there are two major federally mandated matters that are being settled and actions are on going.


The first is the settlement of the US Equal Employment Opportunity case, which included terms of monetary payment to claimants, the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office, and ongoing mandated actions such as scheduling of mandatory EEO training, and completing a survey reviewing for All Affected Employees during the time period the case covers, June 1, 2009— Dec. 31, 2010.


The case, filed by the USEEOC in August 2011 at the federal court in Honolulu, was an age discrimination suit against ASG, on behalf of Mrs. Eseneiaso Liu and other ASG employees in the same circumstances — “over forty” and “subject to unfavorable job reassignments and other adverse employment actions”.


The second matter is the ongoing work HR is doing with the Treasury Department, the AG’s Office and the US Department of Labor (US DOL) for ASG’s violations of the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) — non payment of overtime and compensation time during fiscal years 2010 and 2011.


According to Le’i, they have been working “to bring ASG back into compliance… in addition, USDOL and ASG have agreed to an “Administrative Settlement” which allows ASG to avoid federal litigation.


The settlement includes compensation of affected employees, and complying with a “Plan of Corrective Action” designed to prevent FLSA violations in the future.


For compensation, a list of those employees to be paid will be reviewed to avoid double dipping; and at this time HR awaits MIS report on all (GS-12 and above and WG-17 and above) for comparison against the listing provided to the USDOL; and once the funds are available HR and Treasury will collectively determine eligibility.




“The fact that the cost associated with government employees is astronomical and yet we really don’t have the accurate factual information to support, ASG workforce personnel review is our number one priority,” the HR director states.


Factual information to be gathered includes the total number of employees by Department; Grade Structure; Salary based on the type of jobs and experience/qualification; Gender and Immigration Status (American Samoan vs. All Others); Education; Those paid by grants vs. local; Years of Service; and those On Contract.


Le’i explained in his report that the First Phase of this objective has been implemented and the Second Phase will be the reconciliation of the ASG workforce to the Treasury’s Payroll.


“Simultaneously; the Budget Office will also be provided input to the final product. It is our goal that from this point forward, ASG will have dependable and reliable factual employee status information to assist the governor in making workforce decision in relations to the cost of living; size of ASG Workforce; fringe benefits; type of professions in relations to ASG economic development and social health.


“In addition to these objectives, our day-to-day customer services continue to be an on-going evaluation system. We focus on eliminating non-value added processes by reviewing customer feedback,” he noted.




According to the HR 100-day report, they are aiming, by the end of these four years, to be able to conduct ASG Workforce Reclassification. It states, “This is way overdue.”


The reclassification, Le’i said, will assess:


The matching of salaries for the type of profession concentration to develop and support  government operation;


The size of the work force and how much ASG can afford in comparison to the cost of living and revenue earned;


The type of educational program needed to support worldwide demand in terms of occupational need for our people; and


The effectiveness of ASG’s workforce.


Le’i said an overhaul of the payroll system is also ongoing, with “the HR Module currently in the IFAS allowing total and stand-alone access and integration to the present system” as one of its goals.


The HR Director also noted that they are pursuing a request through the local DOI Representative, Ms. Lydia Faleafine, for a Technical Assistant Grant to provide a Workforce Reclassification targeted for the beginning of FY-2015; just before or during the Special Industrial Wage Committee Hearing.


HR is hoping to have a complete analysis on the cost of its workforce in relation to the Federal Minimum Wage and “our prevailing wages and standard of living at that time.”


Le’i noted that he’s met with Faleafine and discovered that there is still some federal grant money on the books to be used. Supposedly this money — $327K — is a residual from the 500K awarded to upgrade HR’s E-record System, which never materialized; instead the funds were used to pay salaries.