Chapter 02 - Career Service

Chapter 02 - Career Service

7.0201 Purpose.


The general purpose of this chapter is to establish for the government a system of personnel administration which will assure equitable treatment of employees of the government and a merit system based on recognized principles of appointment, promotion, termination, and other aspects of government employment.

7.0202 Definitions.


For the purposes of this chapter:

(a) “Disabled veteran” means an individual who has served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, has been separated therefrom under honorable conditions, and has established the present existence of a service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension because of a public statute administered by the Veterans’ Administration or a military department of the United States.

(b) “Preference eligible” means a U.S. national of American Samoan ancestry who is:

(1) a veteran as defined in subsection (c):

(2) a disabled veteran as defined in subsection (a); or

(3) the unmarried widow of a veteran.

(c) “Veteran” means an individual who has served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States for a period of not less than 180 consecutive days (other than for training), and who has been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions.

7.0203 Persons included in career service.


The career service includes all employees of the government except contract employees, federal employees, district, county, and village officials, members and employees of the Legislature and judges. Notwithstanding the above, the employees of the Legislative Reference Bureau, except contract employees, are members of the career service.

7.0204 Employment standards policy.


(a) It is the declared policy of the government that all appointments and promotions to positions in the career service of the government shall be made solely on the basis of merit, fitness, and length and quality of previous service.

(b) Merit and fitness shall, whenever practicable, be ascertained by competitive examinations. In preparing such examinations, or selecting incumbents in the absence of examinations, administrators shall take cognizance of the trend in American Samoa toward a greater degree of self-determination, and the need for training opportunities for citizens of American Samoa in furthering that transition. Whenever possible, therefore, standards for employment will give all due recognition to practical experience in the function and probable aptitude for learning while on the job, rather than relying in the main on formalized education and training.

7.0205 Qualifications.


(a) Applicants to the career service shall be required to take preemployment physical examinations.

(b) Any person entering the career service shall be a resident of American Samoa and either an American Samoan or an American national at the time he enters the service. If no resident can be found who meets the minimum qualifications for employment established for a particular class of work, nonresidents may be employed.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) or elsewhere in this chapter, all persons entering the career service shall meet the minimum requirements for employment established for the class of work for which they apply.

(d) In determining the qualifications of a preference eligible, as defined in section 7.0202, for examination for, appointment in or reinstatement in the career service, the Director of Manpower Resources shall waive:

(1) requirements as to age, height and weight unless the requirement is essential to the performance of the duties of the position; and

(2) physical requirements if, in the opinion of the Director of Manpower Resources, after considering the recommendation of an accredited physician, the preference eligible is physically able to perform efficiently the duties of the position.

(e) The government shall not hire nor continue to employ anyone convicted of a crime involving stealing, embezzlement, or misappropriation of property, which is classified as a felony in American Samoa and or any other country.

7.0206 Procedure for filling vacancies— Examinations—Appointments.


(a) The Director of Manpower Resources shall establish the procedure for filling vacancies in the career service on a permanent basis from among eligible candidates for employment.

(b) When practicable, competitive examinations shall be held, resulting in establishment of registers comprising the names of those competitors who have attained eligible ratings arranged according to their numerical rating scores in descending order; provided, that a preference eligible as defined in subsection (a) of 7.0202, who receives a passing grade in a competitive examination given pursuant to this section shall receive 10 additional points above his earned rating; and provided, further, that the names of such preference eligibles shall be entered upon the appropriate registers ahead of others having the same rating; and further provided that a preference eligible as defined in subsection (b) of 7.0202 shall receive 5 additional points.

(c) If no examination is given, applicants for employment shall be subject to an applicant supply file system established and administered by the Director of Manpower Resources.

(d) Upon receipt of an approved request from a department head or other authorized operating official to fill a vacancy in the career service on a permanent basis, the Director of Manpower Resources shall certify to the former for consideration and selection the names of the 5 candidates from the appropriate examination register who have the highest numerical rating scores, which scores, in the case of preference eligibles as that term is defined in section 7.0202, shall include the additional points added pursuant to subsection (b), or, in the absence of such a register, the names of the 5 candidates from an applicant supply file whom the Director of Manpower Resources considers to be best qualified by virtue of experience and/or training. Only those candidates certified in the manner described above are eligible for employment unless an exception is permitted under regulations of the Governor.

(e) In no instance will a government official allow an employee to enter on duty unless he has been assured by the Director of Manpower Resources or a designated member of his staff that the appointment action has been approved.

(f) In selecting a candidate for appointment, any appointing authority who passes over a preference eligible whose name appears on the register or list of candidates from the applicant supply file transmitted to such appointing authority by the Director of Manpower Resources pursuant to subsection (d) and who selects an individual who is not a preference eligible, shall file written reasons therefor with the director of manpower resources. The Director of Manpower Resources shall make such reasons a part of the records of the preference eligibles so passed over. The Director of Manpower Resources may require the submission of more detailed information in support of passing over a preference eligible, shall determine the sufficiency or in-sufficiency of the reasons submitted, and shall send his findings to the appointing authority. The appointing authority shall comply with the findings of the Director of Manpower Resources. The preference eligible or his representative, on request, shall be entitled to a copy of the reasons submitted by the appointing authority and the findings of the Director of Manpower Resources.

(g) When 3 or more names of preference eligibles appear on the register or list of candidates from the applicant supply file transmitted to any appointing authority by the Director of Manpower Resources pursuant to subsection (d), the appointing authority may select and appoint only a preference eligible to fill the vacancy under consideration.

7.0207 Categories of appointments.


(a) Appointments shall be in one of the following categories:

(1) Appointment. Appointment without time limitations, to a position in the career service, of any eligible candidate selected from an appropriate examination or applicant supply file certificate as described in section 7.0206:

(2) Excepted Appointment. Appointment without time limitation to a position in the career service as permitted by regulations of the Governor;

(3) Reinstatement. Appointment without time limitation to a position in the career service of a former career service employee who satisfactorily completed the probationary period described in section 7.0211, and whose reemployment is not prohibited by regulations or laws relating to the reemployment of employees separated for cause or who have abandoned their position;

(4) Temporary Appointment. Appointment not to exceed a specific date within a period not to exceed one calendar year.

(b) Any of the appointment actions described in subsection (a) may be made subject to a when-actually-employed (WAE) provision, restricting payment of compensation to time actually worked. Employees appointed under such a provision, otherwise eligible for leave or other service-credit benefits, shall be accorded such benefits on the basis of time actually worked, provided they are subject to a regular (prearranged) tour of duty when they do work.

(c) Any of the appointment actions described in subsection (a) may be made subject to a part-time (PT) provision restricting employment to a regular (prearranged) tour of duty of less than full time. Employees appointed under such provision, who are otherwise eligible for leave and other service-credit benefits, shall be accorded such benefits on the basis of time actually worked.

(d) Any person convicted of a crime involving stealing, embezzlement, or misappropriation of property, which is classified as a felony in American Samoa, shall not be eligible for any appointment provided for in subsection (a).

7.0208 Restoration of preference eligibles previously in career service.


An individual employed in the career service, who is ordered to active or reserve duty in the armed forces of the United States, is entitled within 120 days after his release from duty under honorable conditions, to be restored to the position in the career service held by him when ordered to duty.

7.0209 Preference eligibles separated or furloughed from career service.


A preference eligible who has been separated or furloughed from the career service without delinquency or misconduct, on request, is entitled to have his name placed in the appropriate register or applicant supply file for every position for which his qualifications have been established in the manner specified in section 7.0206.

7.0210 False statements in employment application.


Any person who willfully makes false statements concerning a material matter on any application for employment with the government shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $100, or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.

7.0211 Probationary period.


(a) Employees appointed without time limitation in the career service shall serve a probationary period of 1 calendar year from the effective date of such appointment during which period their service may be terminated at any time without a hearing as provided under section 7.0803.

(b) The purpose of the probationary period is to provide an opportunity for the employee to demonstrate whether or not his retention as part of the permanent work force is in the best interests of the government.

(c) When considered appropriate, separation during the probationary period shall be recommended in writing to the Director of Manpower Resources by department heads or other authorized operating officials, giving the reason or reasons for such recommendation.

(d) If the recommendation is followed, the Director of Manpower Resources shall furnish the employee concerned with a written notice advising him that he will be separated on a particular date, and stating the reason or reasons therefor and that he has no hearing rights.

(e) In the case of all probationers, the Director of Manpower Resources shall, 2 months prior to the expiration of the probationary period, request from the appropriate department head or other operating official, a recommendation as to whether the employee should be retained beyond the expiration of his probationary period. Such recommendations shall be in writing. In the event retention is not recommended, the separation notification procedure described in subsection (d) shall be followed.

7.0212 Residency requirement.


All members of the career service shall be residents of American Samoa during the term of their employment.

7.0213 Annual physical examinations.


All members of the career service shall take annual physical examinations.

7.0214 Bonding of employees.


(a) Subject to subsection (b), the head of each department and independent agency in the executive branch of the government shall obtain, under rules adopted by the Treasurer, blanket, position schedule, or other types of surety bonds covering the officers and employees of the departments or independent agencies who are required by law or administrative rule to be bonded. Bonds obtained under this section shall be of the most economical type available for the number and type of personnel to be bonded and shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the duties of the individual or individuals so bonded. The bond premium may cover a period not exceeding 2 years and shall be paid from any funds available for the payment of administrative expenses at the time the premium becomes payable. Whenever officers or employees are covered by a bond under authority of this section, the surety or sureties on any existing bond of those officers or employees shall not be liable for any defaults occurring subsequent to the date of the new coverage. For purposes of this section, the term “faithful performance of the duties” shall include the proper accounting for all funds or property received by reason of the position or employment of the individual or individuals so bonded and all duties and responsibilities imposed upon individuals by law or by rule adopted under law.

(b) If, in the opinion of the head of the department or independent agency concerned, the premium cost for bonds procured under this section covering officers or employees in the executive branch of the government will exceed the rate of $150 a year, the procurement of the bonds shall be made by the head of the department or independent agency only after advertising a sufficient time previously for proposals for the furnishing of the bonds, except that the advertising for proposals shall not be required when the public exigencies require the immediate procurement of the bonds.

(c) The Treasurer shall transmit to the Governor for submission to the Secretary of the Interior by 30 September each year a comprehensive report of the operations of the departments and independent agencies under this section. The report shall include, among other matters, information, in summary and in detail, with respect to operations under this section, setting forth:

(1) the number of officers and employees covered by bonds procured under this section;

(2) the number and types of bonds procured under this section and the individual penal sums thereof;

(3) the amounts of the premiums paid for bonds procured under this section; and

(4) other information as may be necessary to enable the Secretary of the Interior to determine the results of operations under this section.

(d) Procedures for taking exceptions to holders of bonds by another supervisory authority shall be established by rule by the Treasurer under the rules adopted under the Administrative Procedure Act, section 4.1001 et seq., implementing this act. Also, procedures of not releasing bonds until all exceptions have been satisfied shall be adopted under the rules.