Chapter 03 - Recruitment and Placement

4.0301 Requirements generally-Nepotism- Effective dates.


In filling vacancies within the career service of the ASG, it is the policy that:

(1) appointments and promotions to all positions shall be made solely on the basis of merit, fitness, length and quality of previous service, and relative skills, knowledge, and ability as shown by examinations;

(2) the same standards and methods shall be used in evaluating all candidates who are in competition for the same class of work;

(3) permanent residents of American Samoa, or persons entitled to permanent residence as determined by the immigration law of American Samoa, shall be given first consideration for employment. This includes persons who meet the following criteria:

(A) The applicant was born in American Samoa;

(B) One of the parents of the applicant was born in American Samoa;

(C) The applicant is married to an American Samoan;

(D) The applicant was legally adopted by an American Samoan;

(E) The applicant has resided continuously in American Samoa for at least 10 years and has been approved by the immigration board. Only when no permanent resident can be found who meets the minimum qualifications for employment established for a particular class of work can another person be employed;

(4) applicants who have been selected for positions in the career service must successfully pass a preemployment physical examination before they can be appointed;

(5) in all recruitment and placement activities, it is the policy of the government that two or more members of a family may be employed within the same office as long as one member does not officially and immediately supervise the other. This requirement not only is applied on the basis of facts as they exist as of the time of appointment but at any time while serving as an employee of the ASG or the Judiciary Branch;

(6) the official effective date for all recruitment and placement actions, as well as other personnel actions, shall be established by the office of manpower resources except in the case of resignation, the date of which is established by the employee who is resigning. Effective dates are not made on a retroactive basis. The effective date for within-grade step increments is described under 4.0409. Effective dates for appointments can only be established after the prerequisite medical, police, and immigration clearances have been obtained by the department. Retroactive effective dates are only set when an administrative or has occurred or an appeals action results in retroactive corrective action.

4.0302 Administrative responsibilities.


The director has primary responsibility for establishing and administering procedures for filling vacancies in compliance with appropriate federal and ASG rules. However, all employees and supervisors share responsibility for the successful operation of the system.

(a) The director is responsible for:

(1) developing a merit system policy and procedural guides for filling positions;

(2) providing leadership and support for the merit system as it relates to all segments and activities of the government;

(3) assuring that managers and supervisors are aware of the objectives and requirements of this program;

(4) assuring that applicants or potential applicants are informed, at least annually, that they may file or refile employment applications at the recruitment office.

(b) Managers and supervisors are responsible for:

(1) providing active support to the objectives of the merit system and fully complying with the intent as well as the procedural requirements of the program;

(2) evaluating candidates fully and equitably to assure that each selection conforms to the objectives of an effective merit system;

(3) selecting from among the best-qualified candidates and releasing,. within a reasonable time, their subordinate employees selected for promotion, transfer or reassignment;

(4) providing firm merit system support to employees and keeping themselves fully informed so as to be able to provide employees with information on the merit system and its operation;

(5) counseling employees on ways to improve promotion potential and assisting them in self-development activities;

(6) participating with personnel officials in determining qualification -requirements and evaluation methods for specific positions.

(c) The recruitment and examination division is responsible for:

(1) developing and employing the procedures necessary for recruitment, examination, and certification;

(2) developing, in cooperation with managers and supervisors, qualification requirements and evaluation methods for specific positions;

(3) providing the necessary technical competence required to operate the merit system and publicize its operation;

(4) announcing examinations and/or position vacancies as appropriate, rating applications, establishing and maintaining lists of eligibles, and issuing certificates of eligibles to -selecting officials;

(5) maintaining the required documentation of all personnel actions covered by the plan;

(6) assuring that the requirements of the merit system have been met before taking personnel action on a position change.

(d) Employees are responsible for:

(1) familiarizing themselves with the provisions of the merit system;

(2) personally applying for an announced vacancy in which they are interested, and for which they meet qualifications standards, by submitting required, designated application material;

(3) demonstrating that they have the skills, abilities, and personal qualifications necessary for the positions for which they seek consideration;

(4) Performing the duties of their current positions in a manner indicating they are ready for advancement.

4.0303 Competitive-noncompetitive procedures applicability.


Vacancies can either be filled competitively or noncompetitively.

(a) Competitive procedures apply to the following types of actions:

(1) Selection of a nongovernment employee to either a permanent or temporary appointment;

(2) Promotion of an employee in the career service, except under circumstances specified under subsection (b) of this section;

(3) Reinstatement of a former ASG employee who has completed his probationary period in the career service, to a higher grade position than the candidate's last position or to a position with known promotion potential;

(4) Selection of a government employee who is currently on an emergency appointment to a temporary or permanent position;

(5) Selection of an employee who is in a nonsupervisory position to a supervisory position.

(b) Noncompetitive procedures apply to the following types of actions:

(1) Promotions of an employee for which competitive procedures were used at an earlier date, such as:

(A) career promotion(s), reassignment, etc., made under training agreements approved by the office of manpower resources;

(B) career promotion(s) of employees up to the full performance level position in the career ladder;

(C) career promotion(s) of employees in an understudy position to the target position;

(2) Promotion(s) of incumbents to positions in the competitive service reconstituted in higher grades because of:

(A) change in classification standards;

(B) error in the allocation of the original positions;

(3) Repromotions of employees to positions or grades from which demoted without personal cause or to intermediate grades below the grades from which demoted;

(4) Conversions to a different pay system without change in duties and responsibilities;

(5) Reinstatement of a former ASG employee who has completed his probationary period in the career service to the same or similar class that he held previously in the government;

(6) Transfer of employment from one department to another department. If such transfer also involves promotion, promotion procedures apply.

4.0304 Recruitment- Vacancy notice- Evaluation announcement.


In filling vacancies competitively, all recruitment efforts shall be conducted publicly in a manner which will attract a sufficient number of qualified persons to meet the needs of the career service. Vacancy notice and/or examination announcements shall be advertised and posted publicly. They shall specify title and salary range of the, class, information of the duties performed, applicable minimum or desirable qualifications, and type of examination. Open competitive recruitment shall be for at least 15 calendar days except that in the case of great need the director may cut the filing period to 5 days.

4.0305 Applications.


All applications shall be on a form prescribed by the office of manpower resources. The applicant's signature shall certify the truth of the stated information. Applications shall remain under acting consideration by OMR for one year from the date received.

(a) No information shall be solicited or accepted which reveals religions or political affiliations of the applicant. Information regarding the race or ethnic background of applicants shall be solicited only for use in an affirmative action minority employment program.

(b) Applications filed with the office of manpower resources by the date specified in the vacancy notice or examination announcement will be considered.

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

4.0306 Disqualification of, refusal to examine applicant.


Accepted standards of personnel practice will be followed in screening applicants. Recruitment and examination staff may refuse to examine an applicant or, after examination, may disqualify such applicant or remove his name from a r1glster or refuse to certify any person otherwise eligible on a register if:

(1) he is found to lack any of the requirements established for the class;

(2) he is so disabled as to be rendered unfit to perform the duties of the class;

(3) he is addicted to the use of narcotics or that habitual excessive use of intoxicating beverages;

(4) he has been convicted of any offense that would adversely affect the government and which would be grounds for disqualification from the position for which he is applying;

(5) he has made a false statement of material fact in his application;

(6) he has previously been dismissed or requested to resign from private or public service for delinquency, misconduct, inability to do similar work, or any other fitness as an employee;

(7) he has used, or attempted to use, bribery to secure an advantage in the examination or appointment;

(8) he has directly or indirectly obtained information regarding examinations to which he was not entitled;

(9) he has taken part in the compilation, administration, or correction of the examination.

4.0307 Examination-Final rating.


The director or his designated representative shall determine, by uniform standards, the appropriate examination for a register for a class and the tests or combination of tests and relative weights to be assigned, ensuring at all times that the examinations are job-related.

(a) Examinations shall be practical in nature, job-related, and of such character as to determine the capacity of the applicant to perform the duties of the particular class of positions for which he is competing as well as his general background and related knowledge, and shall be rated objectively. A passing score will be established for each test included in the examination.

(b) Whenever possible, 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.

(c) Examinations shall normally consist of one or a combination of the following:

(1) A written test;

(2) A performance test;

(3) An oral test;

(4) An evaluation of experience and training.

(d) Examinations shall be held at such times and places as are necessary to meet the requirements of the career service, provide economical administration, and be generally convenient for applicants.

(e) Examination announcements shall specify the desirable or minimum requirements, the parts of the examination, and the method of rating. Announcements shall be prominently posted by all appropriate agencies to ensure that the information is reasonably available to all.

(f) A performance evaluation may be used to construct scores in promotional examinations, provided that the director determines such evaluations are practical and necessary to improve the effectiveness of the examination.

(g) Each applicant shall receive notice of final rating. After receipt of the notice of rating, the applicant may request and receive information regarding his score on any part of the examination, or may give written authorization for his supervisor or agency head to obtain the information for him. The same information may, upon request, be furnished to the supervisor or agency head concerning a certified eligible.

4.0308 Veteran preference.


(a) In open competitive examinations, eligible veterans shall receive preferential consideration as follows:

(1) Ten additional points to a disabled veteran. This preference shall be utilized in the open competitive examination only and not in any promotional examination;

(2) Five additional points to a veteran or the unremarried widow of a veteran. This preference shall be utilized in open competitive examination only and not in any promotional examination.

(b) The names of preference eligibles shall be entered upon the appropriate registers ahead of others having the same score.

(c) If the selecting authority passes over a preference eligible whose name appears on the certificate of eligibles forwarded to him and selects a nonpreference eligible, he shall file written reason therefor with the director for approval.

(d) When 3 or more names of preference eligibles appear on a certificate of eligibles, the selecting official may select only a preference eligible to fill the vacancy under consideration.

4.0309 Registers of eligible applicants.


The following types of registers shall be established and maintained by the office of man-power resources:

(a) Reduction-in-force Register.

(1) Composition: A reduction-in-force register will be prepared for each classification, listing the names of all employees who have permanent status and have been notified that they are scheduled for reduction-in-force, or who held permanent status prior to separation due to a reduction-in-force, or who have accepted a voluntary demotion in a class in lieu of a reduction-in-force. The employee's name shall appear for all classifications in which he held permanent status and, where appropriate, the employee's geographic availability will be shown.

(2) Method of ranking: This register will be ranked according to seniority; those with the largest period of performance rated 4 or better on their final performance evaluation will be placed at the top of the list, the balance of the names placed in descending order. Those with performance evaluations showing ratings of less than 4 will be placed at the bottom of the list, regardless of years of service.

(3) Life of register: An eligible's name will normally remain on this register for one year.

(4) Certification: Names from this list shall be certified first to the selecting authority before those from any open or promotional register.

(b) Promotional Register.

(1) Composition: The promotion register will be established for a specific position in an agency and shall include the names of current, permanent employees and/or past permanent employees who have been separated due to reduction-in-force within the last year who have received a passing final grade in the promotional examination and are eligible to be certified.

(2) Method of ranking: This register shall be ranked according to final score from the highest to the lowest.

(3) Life of register: The life of the promotional register shall be until the position is filled.

(c) Open Competitive Register.

(1) Composition: The open competitive register will contain the names of all persons who have passed the appropriate examination for each class of work on an open basis.

(2) Method of ranking: This register shall be ranked by the final score, from highest to lowest.

(3) Life of register: The life of a register shall be one year or until replaced by a register established through a new examination.

(4) Eligibles may be removed from the register under the following circumstances:

(A) On evidence that the eligible cannot be located by the postal authorities or the village pulenu'u;

(B) On receipt of a statement from the eligible declining an appointment and stating that he no longer desires consideration for a position in that class;

(C) If 3 offers of a probationary appointment to the class for which the register was established have been declined by the eligible;

(D) If an eligible fails to reply to a written inquiry as to availability after 5 days in addition to the time required to receive and return the inquiry;

(E) If an eligible accepts an appointment and fails to present himself for duty at the time and place specified without giving satisfactory reasons for the delay to the appointing authority.

4.0310 Certification of eligibles.


Requests for certification of eligibles to a position will be submitted by the selecting authority on form Per-35. Authorized position vacancies can only be filled from the list furnished by the office of manpower resources.

(a) Upon receipt of a request for certification, the director shall cause to be prepared an eligible list consisting of:

(1) names of eligible applicants from the reduction-in-force list, if any. The selection must be made from this list if one exists;

(2) names of eligibles from the pertinent open or promotional list. No more than 5 names will be certified, except in case where candidates below the fifth rank have the same numerical score as the person named as number 5; in this instance, additional names will be certified to the extent there are eligibles with that same score.

(b) Reports of actions taken on certified

eligibles by the selecting authority shall be given in writing to the director within 10 working days following certification unless the director has specifically granted an extended time. Fair consideration must be given to all certified names. One of the following actions must be taken:

(1) Appointment of one of the certified candidates;

(2) Request for additional names to replace names of eligibles who:

(A) fail to reply within four days of notice to appear for consideration;

(B) are not satisfactory for valid and pertinent reasons directly connected with the position as determined by the director from a written report by the selecting authority;

(3) Cancellation of the request.

4.0311 Appointment types.


(a) Career Service Appointments. Career service appointments are always made through open competitive civil service examination procedures to fill permanent, regularly budgeted positions from the open or promotional registers. They always require a probationary period of one year, satisfactory completion of which is a requisite for permanent status in the position.

(b) Temporary Appointments.

(1) When there is work of a temporary nature, at the completion of which the services of an additional employee will not be required, the director may authorize a temporary appointment for a period riot in excess of one year.

(2) Such appointment shall be made from a register of eligibles, if eligibles are available. The selection of an eligible from the register hall not affect the retention of the eligibles on the eligible list and he shall continue to be considered for probational appointment, should an appropriate vacancy occur.

(3) Service under a temporary appointment is not creditable for permanent status.

(c) Emergency Appointments.

(1) When an emergency occurs requiring the immediate service of a person or persons, the department head may request that an emergency appointment be made.

(2) Justification for the emergency must be submitted to and approved by the director prior to any personnel action.

(3) An emergency appointment of an American Samoan national may not be made to exceed 30 days unless the appointment is extended by the director up to a maximum of an additional 30 days, based on agency justification of the continuing state of emergency.

(4) Service under an emergency appointment shall not constitute a part of the employee's probationary period.

(5) If a person other than American Samoan national is to be appointed, immigration clearance must be secured prior to entrance on duty, but police and medical clearances may be furnished during the 30-day emergency period.

(d) Disaster Emergency Appointment. In the case of a disaster, departments are authorized to make direct, emergency appointments without any clearance, for a period not to exceed ten working days.

4.0312 Reinstatement after separation.


(a) Any person who has satisfactorily completed a probationary period in the career service and who has separated therefrom, may be reinstated to a position with the same or similar duties to those he previously performed, provided his reemployment is not prohibited by rules or laws relating to the reemployment of employees separated for cause or who have abandoned their positions.

(b) Reinstatement to the same class of work or grade previously held is noncompetitive.

4.0313 Promotion-Lateral movement- Transfer- Detail -Demotion.


The following types of in-service placement exist within the career service:

(a) Promotion.

(1) No employee shall be certified from a promotional register until he has gained permanent status; however, a probationary employee may be admitted to a promotional examination if the announcement for the position vacancy has an established closing date and if the employee has served three months of his probationary period. Employees who have not completed their original probationary period, if selected, must serve a new probationary period. Employees who are otherwise qualified will be admitted to promotional examinations if they are within 2 months of the experience required by the minimum qualifications and are assigned to a position which provides qualifying experience.

(2) A permanent employee who is promoted and who fails to satisfactorily complete the probationary period shall be given 15 calendar days written notice no earlier than 90 days after assuming the position. A copy qf this notice must be sent to the director, who will notify the employee of the date he will automatically revert to his former classification. If there are no vacancies in that class, he is placed on the reduction-in-force register. An employee who is reverted does not have the right of appeal. If an employee is unable to be placed into another position at the end of a total of 180 days, he shall be terminated.

(3) An employee who is promoted within the same pay schedule shall be given an increase in compensation which is equivalent to 2 salary steps on the grade level of the position from which promoted. If the increase of 2 steps results in a salary rate falling between 2 steps of the new grade, the employee shall be given the higher of the 2 steps.

(b) Lateral Movement.

(1) Reassignment: movement of a permanent employee from one position to another in the same or another class within the same agency with the prior approval of the director.

(2) Transfer: movement of a permanent employee from one position to another in the

same or another class between agencies with the prior approval of the director. If a transfer includes a promotion, the rules governing promotion apply. A transfer is always made in connection with a:

(A) reassignment;

(B) demotion; or

(C) promotion. All lateral movements of personnel must be approved by the director or, in the case of the Judicial Branch, the Chief Justice.

(c) Detail.

(1) Details are intended only for meeting temporary needs of the agency's or another agency's work program when necessary services cannot be obtained by other more desirable or practical means. Interagency details are particularly appropriate for temporary service in the performance of official government functions such as providing disaster assistance, preparation for Flag Day, or election services.

(2) Detailing employees to other kinds of positions immediately after competitive appointment tends to compromise the competitive principle and so is not permitted. Except for an emergency detail of 30 calendar days or less, an employee may not be detailed for at least 3 months after the initial appointment.

(3) Agencies are responsible for keeping details witllin the shortest practicable time limits and for making a continuing effort to secure necessary services through use of appropriate personnel actions.

(4) Details for 30 calendar days or more shall be reported on form 303 and maintained as a permanent record in official personnel folders. Details of less than 30 calendar days need not be officially documented on form 303, but should be recorded in department records.

(5) All details to higher grade positions will be confined to a maximum period of 120 days unless approved by the director, or in the case of the Judicial Branch, the Chief Justice. If management fails to initiate a form 303 to terminate the detail at the end of the stated period, the office of manpower resources shall initiate the action.

(6) Detail appointments shall be from among those employees who are interested and available to accept such appointments when there are no individuals available who meet the minimum requirements. Primary consideration should, however, be given to eligibles on the agency promotional register for the class or for a related class as determined by the director and the agency.

(7) An employee who accepts a detail for 30 calendar days or more to a higher graded position shall be paid according to the rule regarding promotion. An employee accepting a detail for less than 30 calendar days shall retain his current salary.

(8) An employee shall not achieve permanent status in the position to which he has been detailed and upon termination of the detail shall be returned to his former position.

(d) Demotion.

(1) Demotion may be disciplinary or nondisciplinary, voluntary or nonvoluntary.

(2) An employee who is demoted may not receive pay at a higher rate than he received before the demotion.

4.0314 Retired employees reemployment.


An employee who has retired may be reemployed under this chapter but his annuity shall be suspended during the period of his reemployment under this chapter.