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Gov issues directive moving payroll division back to Treasury

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Another directive expands COVID-19 Task Force to 30

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Among the new directives issued by Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga in recent days is one, transferring the ASG Payroll Division from Human Resources back to the Treasury Department, as well as adding more members to the government COVID-19 Task Force.


In a Jan. 8th memorandum to acting Treasurer Malemo Lafoia Tausaga and acting Human Resources director Lynn Pulou-Alaimalo, the governor ordered the return of the Payroll Division to Treasury Department.

“During this process, it is important that you work together to make sure that ASG employees continue to be paid without any disruption,” Lemanu wrote. “Both departments are responsible that all wages are paid as the law requires.”

He also noted that his memorandum rescinds a previous one issued by the Governor’s Office in September 2014 — (which was issued one year after the Lolo Administration took the helm of government.)

Former Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga transferred Payroll Division to DHR effective Oct. 1, 2014 —and Lolo spoke about the issue during a cabinet meeting on that same date, saying that DHR will better control and manage the ASG payroll and this will also stop abuses, which had continued for many years.

Lolo argued that having payroll under DHR would provide better security for the payroll system.

However, the transfer was quickly questioned by some lawmakers who pointed out that under local statute, this division is part of Treasury. Despite their concerns, Lolo kept Payroll Division within DHR during the remainder of his term in office.


In another Jan. 8th memo, Lemanu appointed eleven additional members to the task force, in “order to add more expertise” to the panel.

The new members are Office of Protection and Advocacy for the Disabled acting director Matautu Dr. Peter Tinitali, Territorial Administration on Aging acting director Evelyn Lilio Satele, American Samoa Economic Development Authority executive director Blanche Lulu Barber and Jason Mitchell of the Governor’s Office.

Other new members are from the Health Department: DoH deputy director Faraitoafa Utu, Dr. Aifili Tufa, Dr. Saipale Fuimaono, Dr. Cecilia Alailima, Dr. Ronald Yip, Dr. Monita Adip and Dr. Francine Amoa.

Lemanu said he looks forward to the input of the new members “as they help keep the Territory safe.”

With the additional members, the task force — chaired by Lt. Gov. Talauega Eleasalo Va’alele Ale — now has 30-members. (See Samoa News edition Jan. 12th for the first-appointed members.)


Lemanu, through a Jan. 13th memorandum, designated Youth and Women’s Affairs deputy director Delaney Afe-Tilo as acting director of the department, while the acting director, Salote V. Aoelua-Fanene is off-island for medical treatment.

Aoelua-Fanene had informed the governor on Jan. 12th that she will be traveling off island on Jan. 13th for medical treatment and recommended Afe-Tilo as acting.

“I will continue to work from the ASG Hawaii Office during my stay in Hawaii,” Aoelua-Fanene said in a letter to the governor.

Aoelua-Fanene traveled to Honolulu on the Jan. 13th medical charter.