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Lolo talks about the administration’s exit plans

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga
He encourages the completion of projects, submission of reports

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — In his last and final State of the Territory address as chief executive to the Fono last week, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga shared with lawmakers, “pathway forward for the remaining” months of 2020 for the Lolo-Lemanu Administration.

One of them, Lolo said, is the upcoming 2020 Census, which he describes as a “significant project” for the government and the people of American Samoa, to ensure there is an accurate population count, with enumerators expected to start visiting homes in March this year.

According to Lolo, many projects have been started and more are planned to begin, with the hope that most of them will be completed before the Administration leaves office (which officially is before noon on Jan. 3, 2021 - when the new governor takes the oath of office following the November 2020 general election).

Furthermore,  it’s also the fervent wish that the new leaders will see to it that all of the started projects are completed, to continue our journey towards economic growth and quality of life improvement.

“The most significant objective for the final year of the Lolo-Lemanu Administration is to turn over to the new set of leaders a government that is fiscally stable, operationally efficient, economically progressive, and socially supportive,” Lolo said.

He explained that his cabinet members have been instructed not to begin any new projects at the end of June 2020 and “to engage in the process of identifying and documenting operational weaknesses and challenges, detail documentation of the agency’s status in terms of finances, human resources, inventories, physical assets, and vehicles.”

Lolo said this report will give the new leaders an instant and complete view of the status of the American Samoa Government and its respective component units, so they will not waste valuable time deciphering and determining the status of the government but instead, focus on the business of serving our people.

During the Jan. 10, 2020 cabinet meeting, Lolo reiterated the importance of the Administration’s “exit report” to be presented to the new administration, to ensure they “have a full and complete understanding of where the government stands, its challenges and finances.”

Since late last year, Lolo told cabinet members that he has been thinking about “how we are going to exit” the government and “what you are going to leave behind when you leave this government.”

“I know all of us has something better to leave behind. Think about it. Bring the stuff forward for the next leader to understand,” he told cabinet members, adding that between now and June, it’s the Administration’s goal to prepare and complete the “exit report.”

He urged cabinet members to move forward all ongoing and pending projects to be completed as soon as possible. He said all these projects will be included in the report, which will help the new government with status of infrastructure.