Incoming Lemanu- Talauega team reviews transition with Gov Lolo
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Government finances and other critical matters including the deadly coronavirus pandemic were some of the issues discussed during a meeting between Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and the incoming Administration of governor-elect, Lt. Gov. Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga and lieutenant governor-elect, Talauega Eleasalo Alo.
The meeting was held Monday and there was also discussion of the Administration’s transition report.
Responding to Samoa News inquires, the Governor’s Executive Assistant, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira said the the “two leaders” — Lolo and Lemanu — “met alone” first, before meeting with Talauega, along with the Lemanu-Talauega Transition leader Tuimavave Tauapa'i Laupola, and the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Fiu J. Saelua.
“The discussion centered on the financial status of the American Samoa Government and other critical issues including the COVID-19 pandemic. The [Administration’s] Transition Report was also discussed,” said Iulogologo, who also attended the meeting.
“Given that both Governor-elect and Lieutenant Governor-elect are members of the Lolo-Lemanu Administration they are well indoctrinated with its strategies, philosophies, goals, and its accomplishments hence they are fully aware of what has been going on and what still needs to be done,” said Iulogologo, who is also chairman of the government’s COVID-19 Task Force.
Asked about cabinet members of the Lolo Administration cooperating with the Lemanu-Talauega transition team visiting each ASG agency and department, Iulogologo explained that Gov. Lolo in October instructed all cabinet members to prepare Transition Reports for transmission to the new leaders.
Lolo also informed Lemanu and Talauega, during Monday’s meeting, that the Administration’s Transition Report will be completed before the end of the week and “it will be presented formally to them.”
“The Governor had on numerous occasions advised the cabinet to work closely with the Lemanu-Talauega Transition Team to ensure that full transparency is practiced,” Iulogologo pointed out.
“Given that each agency of government has prepared transition reports, the Lemanu-Talauega [administration] will utilize these reports which may negate visits to agencies unless clarification of issues is needed,” he said noting that most of the key members of the Lemanu-Talauega Transition Team are current employees of the government who are familiar with its workings.
Regarding the Administration’s Transition report, Iulogologo said it has been submitted to the governor by Treasurer Ueligitone Tonumaipe’a and Human Resources director Eseneiaso Liu — the co-chairs of the Administration’s transition team — for his review and final approval for official transmission to the Lemanu-Talauega Administration at the latest by today, Friday, or next week if there are changes to be made.
“This report is specifically for the Lemanu-Talauega Administration. Distribution of the report is the prerogative of the new administration,” said Iulogologo when asked if the Lolo Administration’s transition report will be given to the US Department of Interior, the Fono and make available to the media.
The incoming administration had requested office space to house their transition operation, and Iulogologo said that several locations were discussed; the support units behind the Gov. H. Rex Lee Auditorium, the old Office of Disaster Assistance and Petroleum Management, and the VA Memorial Center Building.
Iulogologo said it’s understood that the VA building was selected.