Lolo: Manipulating time cards is grounds for immediate termination
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has issued a stern warning against any executive branch employee who manipulates time cards to reflect erroneous working hours. The violator will “be terminated immediately” and if a director authorizes such action, termination will be considered.
“Deliberate alteration and manipulation of time cards to reflect erroneous working hours is very alarming and very disturbing because this action is fraudulent,” said Lolo in an Oct. 2nd memo — Tampering with Employees’ Clock-in & Clock-out Policies — to executive branch directors and agency heads.
Lolo said this practice is to “cease immediately” and directors, as the leads, shall be held “personally accountable” for these types of dishonest behavior.
“Accordingly, anyone violating this policy will be terminated immediately and if the director authorized this action, termination as well will be considered,” the governor warned. Some employees have shared with Samoa News in the past, that this “crooked-practice” has been ongoing for way too long.
When informed about the governor’s memo, two employees, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing their jobs, told Samoa News Wednesday night that it’s all good and well that the governor has issued such a directive — “But the main question is — will it be enforced and how will it be enforced?” the pair asked.
Another practice that is to “cease immediately as well”, according to the governor, is claiming lunch time and the two mandated rest periods a day — as prescribed in the personnel rules and regulations — as overtime.
“If you authorize this type of exercise, I would advise you now to end that practice,” he said and reminded directors of current policy requiring pre-approval of overtime. “Further, it does not bode well for your leadership skills if your employees are forced to work during their rest periods.”
He reminded directors that there are specific purposes, for which policies, rules and regulations are established. “No overtime will be incurred or subject to payment unless first approved before being incurred; and the director is responsible to seek this approval before or after the circumstances warrant it,” Lolo reminded directors.
Directors were also reminded that direct hiring of a new employee, as well as the transfer of employees between agencies, must first get Dept. of Human Resources (DHR) approval.
Lolo said local law authorizes only the DHR director to establish and implement a government-wide personnel system to ensure that each ASG employee is treated equally without discrimination.
“Heretofore, no individual shall be placed on the job without being authorized by the Department of Human Resources signaling that all the required paperwork and requisite clearances have been completed,” Lolo explained. “No employee is to be physically transferred until approval is granted by the Department of Human Resources.”