Delimitation of Government Authority

United States Department of the Interior

 

Secretary’s Order No. 2657

 

As Amended

 

Sec. 1 Purpose. The purpose of this document is to delimit the extent and nature of the authority of the Government of American Samoa, as it will be exercised under the jurisdic­tion of the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to Executive Order No. 10264 of June 29, 1951, pending enactment of organic legislation by the Congress, and to prescribe the manner in which the relationships of the Government of American Samoa with the Congress, with the Department of the Interior and other Federal agencies, and with foreign governments and international bodies shall be established and maintained.

 

Sec. 2 Laws and legislative authority. (a) The laws of American Samoa in effect on July 1, 1951 and the procedure for formulating and amending the laws shall remain in effect until changed by competent authority: Provided, however, That the power formerly exercised by the Secretary of the Navy or his designated representative shall be exercised by the Secre­tary of the Interior or his designated representa­tive.

 

(b) No measure affecting the powers of the legislature shall become effective without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.

 

Sec. 3 Executive authority.

 

(a) The executive authority of the Government of American Samoa shall be vested in the Governor and other officials appointed pursuant to law, and shall be exercised under the supervision and direction of the Secretary of the Interior.

 

(b) The relations of the Government of American Samoa with the Congress of the United States on all legislative matters, including appropriations shall be conducted through the Department of the Interior.

 

(c) With freedom to consult directly with the Secretary when necessary, the Governor of American Samoa shall normally communicate with the Secretary of the Interior through the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Territorial Affairs. The Governor shall be responsible for all United States property in American Samoa which is required for the operation of the Government of American Samoa and to which the Department of the Interior has custodial title or which it may use under permit. The Governor shall perform such other functions for the Department of the Interior in American Samoa as may be delegated to him by the Sec­retary.

 

(d) Initial contact by the Government of American Samoa with Federal agencies outside the Department of the Interior on other than routine matters shall be established through the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Territorial Affairs of the Department of the Interior. Once the relationship has been established, direct con­tact between the Government of American Samoa and the Federal agencies concerned may be maintained and the Deputy Assistant Secre­tary for Territorial Affairs kept informed of significant developments in the relationship.  Federal agencies should be encouraged to extend their normal Federal services and assistance to American Samoa wherever practicable, and the Government of American Samoa should be reim­bursed for services which it performs for such Federal agencies.

 

(e) Communications of the Government of American Samoa with foreign governments and international bodies shall be cleared through the Department of the Interior for transmittal by the Department of State, unless some other pro­cedure is approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

Sec. 4 Judicial authority. The judicial authority shall be independent of the executive and legislative powers. Budgetary requests for the territorial judiciary, with supporting justifi­cation, should be drawn up by the Chief Justice of American Samoa and submitted for the approval of the Department of the Interior by the Governor of American Samoa as a separate item in the annual budget for American Samoa. The Governor should call the attention of the Department to any questions which he may have regarding the budget for the judiciary. Laws or regulations bearing on the organization or op­eration of the judiciary shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior for approval prior to promulgation. The High Court of American Samoa is hereby given jurisdiction to effect the judicial enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (PL 91-596; 84 Stat. 1590).