Ads by Google Ads by Google

ASTCA CEO grilled on ownership of company doing business with the authority

ASTCA logo

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — TekConnec Incorporated owned by the Chief Executive Officer of the American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority was at the center of questioning before the fono during budget hearings this week.

Chuck Leota appeared before the joint budget hearing this week to testify on the budget for ASTCA when Rep. Gene Pan grilled the CEO about TekConnec Incorporated.

Leota explained this issue is not new as it was brought up in previous hearings before the Fono, but TekConnec Incorporated no longer has a contract with ASTCA.

In follow up questions after the hearing, Leota told Samoa News the services provided to ASTCA by TekConnec occurred between 2017 - 2019.

“During this period I was not an employee of ASTCA but a vendor under a contract agreement with my company.”

He said when requested by then CEO to return to ASTCA in 2019 as an employee and not a vendor/ consultant, the contract between TekConnec and ASTCA was terminated.

“Since 2019, there has been no contract between the two companies.

Regarding my current role in TekConnec, I am still associated with it but I am no longer involved in the daily operations,” said Leota in response to Samoa News questions.

“I trust … [this] clarifies any misconceptions caused by questions raised during the Fono.”

During the budget hearing, Pan questioned the amount of the contract, which he claims was around $200,000 per year.

Leota told Samoa News the system used by ASTCA for “topping up” mobile phones, e.g. $200K, was revenue generated for ASTCA, not TekConnec.

TekConnec is an IT company that designed ASTCA’s topping up app along with the CashPower Mobile App for vendor — the American Samoa Power Authority — to generate vouchers on the go for ASPA customers.

Leota was appointed last year as CEO and according to a govt press release at the time, he’s a well-known and seasoned telecom executive with experience in network development, capacity building, Administration, and business development.

Mr. Leota is recognized for his outstanding performance record and strong reputation within the South Pacific islands as a cross-functional team leader with a reputation for cultivating and stewarding relationships in technology, community, and government.

He brings with him the proven ability to design and implement successful solutions across sales, operations, technology, and customer service that will bring ASTCA forward in serving the telecom requirements for the people and Territory of American Samoa,” the release said.