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Chapter 10 - Contract Specialists

4.1001 When hiring permitted-Employment agreement.


When there are no qualified eligibles available for a given position, excepted appointments of qualified eligibles residing outside of American Samoa may be made by contract. The terms of a contract specialist's employment are specified in the employment agreement he signs with the government.

4.1002 Assignment- Recruitment-Selection.


The following are rules concerning contract specialists which are not contained in the standard contracts, or which require amplification:

(a) Assignment of Duties. While the contract specialist is designated to serve in the position for which he signs, the needs of the government will determine other assignments and specific designations.

(b) Recruitment Policy.

(1) Positions must be advertised locally prior to off-island, except that where the shortage of qualified eligibles is known in advance, recruitment may be performed simultaneously.

(2) Off-island recruitment efforts conducted by department heads must be coordinated with the office of manpower resources.

(c) Selection Policy. Selection for contract positions must be made solely based upon fitness and merit, without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, or politics.

(d) Medical Examination. All selectees and their accompanying dependents shall be required to provide evidence of good health as shown by preemployment physical examinations, the reports of which shall be evaluated by the director, department of health.

(e) Verification of Qualifications. Acceptance by the director of verifications of the candidate's claimed qualifications and references, and any reports of interviews of candidates and married candidate's spouses, is required.

4.1003 Compensation-Absence with pay- Review and reclassification.


(a) Compensation for positions filled by contract shall be in accordance with established ASG salary rates based on the salary rates of the career service. Base salaries shall be taken from the appropriate ASG salary schedule and the rules concerning same. A contract specialist employee whose employment agreement is on a 10-month basis shall have his annual salary prorated over 12 months of each calendar year of employment.

(b) Contract specialists are not entitled to overtime compensation.

(c) Contract specialists may be granted absence from duty with pay on those holidays recognized by the federal government and/or the ASG.

(d) If substantial changes are contemplated in the duties and responsibilities assigned to a contract specialist during the life of his agreement, the department involved may request a review of the contract position and reclassification by the office of manpower resources.

(1) If the change is to a vacant position which is not under the supervision of the employee's hiring agency then the hiring agency head will be made a party to the agreement and he will also sign the amendment form and personnel/payroll action request which authorizes the interagency position change.

(2) If a change of position involves a change of grade and salary, then a lump-sum accumulated-leave payment will be made to the employee at the salary rate in effect at the conclusion of his unamended term of service. The employee will begin to accumulate annual leave at the adjusted salary rate, commencing with the effective date of the contract amendment.

(e) During the tenure of the contract, the contract specialist shall receive step increments as detailed in 4.0409.

4.1004 Transportation.


(a) Entitlement at Hiring and Separation. The government will furnish transportation for the contract specialist and his dependents, his household goods and professional materials from his permanent residence to American Samoa. If the contract specialist has fully performed the terms and conditions of his agreement in a manner satisfactory to the government, the government will furnish transportation for the contract specialist, his dependents, his household goods and professional materials to his place of residence from American Samoa.

(1) The contract specialist and his dependents are authorized economy, jet air travel accommodations between the point of hire and American Samoa. Unless specifically authorized on the travel authorization, additional cost for superior accommodations or excess baggage shall be borne by the contract specialist.

(2) When a vacant contract specialist position is filled by a qualified nonresident candidate who is temporarily residing in American Samoa, no provision will be made by the government for his travel or shipment of household goods to the territory. The government will contract to return him and his dependents to his preagreed permanent residence at the satisfactory conclusion of his employment.

(3) Nongovernment-furnished transportation expenses (private yacht, aircraft) incurred by a contract specialist and his dependents by travel to American Samoa to report to duty may be reimbursed to him in amounts not to exceed that authorized for one-way, economy jet air fare as stipulated by ASG travel rules. The request for reimbursement must be supported by receipts or other evidence of payment.

(4) The transportation expenses mentioned in his employment agreement shall constitute the measure of damages for a breach of his agreement by the contract specialist.

(b) Remaining After Contract. If the contract specialist, with immigration approval, elects to remain in American Samoa upon completion of his contract, the government's obligation for return transportation and household shipment shall be forfeited.

(c) Property Allowed and Prohibited. The weight allowance for the shipment of household effects is limited to that personal property essential to the comfort and convenience of the contract specialist and his dependents which may be transported legally in interstate commerce. It includes household furnishings, equipment and appliances, furniture, clothing, books, and similar property. Household effects do not include property which is for resale or disposal rather than for use by the contract specialist or members of his immediate family, nor does it include such items as motor vehicles, airplanes, trailers, boats, pets, livestock, cord- wood, building materials, property belonging to persons other than the contract specialist and his immediate family, or any property intended for use in conducting a business or other commercial enterprise.

(1) The firearms laws in the United States differ from territorial legal restrictions. Weapons and ammunition of any kind are prohibited, including air guns, without prior licensing and registration.

(2) The only domestic pets which may be brought into the territory are dogs and cats from the mainland U.S., Hawaii, Guam, Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Australia, and New Zealand. Animals from the mainland, Guam, and T.T.P.I. must be quarantined for 120 days in Hawaii. The extensive rules pertaining to this matter are available from the department of agriculture; some are codified at 24.03 of this code.

(3) The importation, production, and use of hallucinogens and potentially harmful drugs are strictly prohibited and punishable by law.

(d) Cash Payment. In lieu of authorized weight allowances for overland and ocean shipments, cash payments in accordance with the following schedule will be made to contract employees for those shipments for the purpose of effecting savings to the government:

Total Cash Payments

Family Size Estimated Weight East of West of

Used for Calculations. Mississippi Mississippi

(pounds)

1 1,125 $1,200 $1,000

2 1,810 2,000 1,600

3 2,030 2,100 1,700

4 2,250 2,300 1,900

5 2,360 2,400 2,100

Special arrangements will be separately negotiated for contract employees not residing in the U.S. Any portion of a cash payment from this schedule that is not applied to the cost of household/professional effects shipment inures to the benefit of the employee. Employees will be issued cash reimbursements from the schedule upon arrival in the territory. Any exception for newly hired employees resulting in the issuance of a letter of credit to the selected shipping agency may be made only by the treasurer or higher authority.

(1) Standard insurance coverage that is provided by the packer and shipper is based upon net weight only. If the contract specialist wishes to insure on the basis of value, he must acquire additional insurance at his own expense.

(2) Customs rules applicable to the shipment of household effects must be observed for all travel. The contract specialist is responsible for compliance with the appropriate rules. Except for extenuating circumstances, he is liable for additional charges imposed by customs or port authorities.

(e) Doctors and Dentists. Exceptions have been made to this policy for the department of health as a result of doctors and dentists having been placed in a worldwide shortage category by the Federal Civil Service Commission.

(1) A contract specialist physician or dentist is authorized a net weight allowance to be placed into and maintained as insured storage at government expense and an additional cash payment for 1,000 pounds of estimated weight from the schedule shown in subsection (d) of this section for professional materials. The maximum total of the estimated weight allowances, including that for storage, may not exceed 11,000 pounds. Government liability for stored material is limited to the storage handling, maintenance, and insurance charges only and not to loss or damage. The stated government liability will expire 30 days after the termination date of the contract specialist physician's or dentist's employment agreement.

(f) Renewal Benefits. If the contract specialist's employment agreement is renewed:

(1) a renewal bonus of $1,000 will be paid for 2 years' renewal on the first pay period following the effective date of the new contract.

(2) Round-trip, economy jet air transportation is authorized for himself and his dependents.

(A) A contract specialist who renews his contract may be authorized round-trip transportation to a point other than his original point of hire; however, the government will only pay up to as much as the cost of economy jet transportation directly to his original point of hire. The contract specialist is required to pay for any extra travel charges in excess of his allowance.

(B) If the contract specialist's selected travel routing is at less cost than that to the original point of hire, the contract specialist is not entitled to the difference.

(C) All travel purchased by the contract specialist with the travel authorization must be used on the same trip. For example, if a renewing contract specialist is authorized round-trip fare to San Francisco and decides to go only as far as Hawaii and return, he has exhausted all travel authorized by his travel authorization form. He may not, at some future date, use the difference in fare to obtain further travel.

(g) Completion-of-contract Entitlement. If the contract specialist satisfactorily fulfills the conditions of his employment agreement, he and his dependents are entitled to:

(1) one-way, economy jet air transportation to his permanent residence;

(2) unaccompanied air freight allowance if provided by the original, travel authorization;

(3) ocean freight shipment allowance for household effects as provided by the original travel authorization;

(4) additional ocean freight shipment allowance for professional materials as provided by original travel authorizations.

4.1005 Annual leave-Sick leave.


(a) A contract specialist whose employment agreement is on a 12-month basis shall accrue annual leave at the rate of 1 working day for each full biweekly pay period during the tenure of his agreement, regardless of the amount of time worked during each pay period, except for periods of leave without pay.

(1) Provided that he is fulfilling all of the terms and conditions of his agreement in a manner satisfactory to the government and, if the government determines that his services can be spared, he may be granted leave upon his request at any time.

(2) He may be administratively required by the government to take leave at any time.

(3) At the expiration of his agreement, the contract specialist will be paid in a lump sum for a maximum of 60 days of unused, accumulated annual leave, computed at the salary then in effect.

(4) Only if it is for the convenience of the government, the contract specialist may elect to apply accumulated annual leave in total or in part in lieu of lump sum payment to an equivalent number of days' absence immediately preceding and extending to the expiration date of his agreement. He will not, however, be entitled to accrue annual leave while on terminal leave.

(b) A contract specialist whose employment agreement is on a 10-month basis shall not accrue annual leave but shall not be required to work during the school vacation period as designated by the department of education and the community college.

(c) The contract specialist shall accrue sick leave with pay at the rate of I-half day per full biweekly pay period and may be allowed such additional sick leave without pay as the government at its discretion may deem necessary.

4.1006 Medical benefits.


(a) The contract specialist and his dependents will be entitled to medical and dental services in American Samoa to be furnished by the government. Such services may be subject to a nominal service charge to be paid by the contract specialist. Medical services shall be within the limits of the government's personnel, supplies, and facilities available from time to time in American Samoa. The contract specialist and his dependents will also be entitled to off-island medical care to the same extent furnished from time to time to American Samoans by the government; provided, that the contract specialist will be required to use and apply entitlement to hospital, medical and dental care benefits which he may have as a veteran of the armed forces or as a participant under any other program or insurance plan; and provided further that return travel of the discharged patient, or an authorized accompanying family member, will not be provided should it be determined, in the judgment of the director, department of health, that due to the health of the contract specialist or the dependent, the contract specialist should not remain in American Samoa, in which event the entitlements upon normal expiration of the term of service will be provided.

4.1007 Termination for cause.


The government may discharge the contract specialist and terminate his employment agreement for cause, including dereliction or unsatisfactory performance of duty or misrepresentation or conviction of any criminal offense. Pending a hearing and final determination, the contract specialist may be suspended without pay or other benefits.

(1) Removal shall be recommended to the director, office of manpower resources, by the employee's agency head in writing, supported by a written account of the circumstances and events underlying the recommendation.

(2) Upon receipt of the written justification recommending the removal of an employee, the director shall give careful consideration to such recommendation and all background information of record. In this connection, the director is expected to consult with the ASG official concerned.

(3) The director, if he considers the recommendation to be reasonable, shall advise the employee in writing of:

(A) the charges brought against him;

(B) the fact and effective date of his suspension without pay.

4.1008 Resignation-Termination without cause.


(a) If the health of the contract specialist or that of any of his dependents, through no fault of his own, becomes so impaired that, in the judgment of the director of health, he should not remain in American Samoa, he may resign and receive the full benefits accorded to a contract specialist whose employment agreement has been satisfactorily fulfilled. The government will not be liable for the return travel of the contract specialist, his dependents, household goods, and personal effects if his physical disability is a direct result of excessive and nonprescribed use of alcohol or harmful drugs.

(b) If an unforeseen personal emergency should arise which requires the immediate presence of the contract specialist outside of American Samoa and such emergency is verified to the satisfaction of the government by the American Red Cross or other appropriate agency, the contract specialist may resign and be entitled to the full benefits to which he would have been entitled upon normal expiration of the term of service under his employment agreement.

(c) Should the contract specialist breach his agreement by resignation from his employment with the government prior to the end of the contracted tenure (or during the first half of his term of service), he shall forfeit all rights to transportation for himself, his dependents, and their personal effects and household goods and shall be obligated to repay to the government such expenses as it may have incurred or paid to him on this account in connection with his term of service. Should the contract specialist's resignation from his obligations to his agreement occur after 1 year's contracted tenure (or during the second half of his term of service), he shall forfeit all rights to transportation tor himself, his dependents, and his and their personal effects and household goods but shall not be obligated to repay to the government such expenses as it may have incurred or p8iti to him on this account in connection with his term of service.

(d) Upon 30 days' notice to the employee, the government may terminate his employment agreement at the discretion of the government without recourse on the part of the employee. In the case of termination of employment as provided in this subsection, the employee shall be entitled to transportation, subsistence, and other benefits to which he would be entitled upon normal expiration of the term of service under his agreement.

4.1009 Renewal of contract.


(a) Contract renewal is the prerogative of the government and is based solely upon need and performance of a contract specialist as determined by the government and is contingent upon approval of the contract specialist's continued employment by the director.

(b) A contract specialist must address his request for contract renewal in writing to the director, office of manpower resources not less than 90 calendar days prior to the expiration date of his current agreement.

(c) Renewal of a contract for a l-year period will be limited to 1 renewal unless prior approval is obtained in writing from the director, office of manpower resources.

4.1010 Employment after term of contract.


If employment of the contract specialist continues beyond the term of service specified in his agreement without the execution of a new agreement, such employment shall be deemed to be at will and may be terminated by either party on reasonable notice to the other. All of the terms and conditions of his agreement, except those pertaining to termination for cause, shall continue in effect during such extended period of employment.

4.1011 Conduct- Reassignment-Career service eligibility -Self-employment.


(a) Contract specialists are expected to conduct themselves both on and off-the-job as employees of ASG. Rules regarding outside work, conflict of interest, and political activities published in the ASCA and elsewhere in this title apply equally to contract employees.

(b) A contract specialist is precluded by and for the duration of his contracted term of service from competing for other vacant positions with the ASG. He may, however, request reassignment to a vacant position and his request may be granted at the discretion of his agency head and the selecting authority when to do so is in the interest of the government.

(c) At the expiration of a contract, every effort shall be made to fill the contract position in the career service. If a position which has been filled by contract can be filled within the career service, the incumbent of that position can compete for the position on a career service basis if he is entitled to permanent residency in American Samoa or if his/her spouse is entitled to permanent residency.

(d) Contract specialists shall not engage in self-employment in American Samoa, either directly or indirectly, in any form whatsoever, during the terms of their agreements.

4.1012 Grievances-Striking prohibited.


(a) Contract specialist grievances shall be processed the same as those made by other employees. In case of an alleged violation of the contract specialist's agreement, his continued employment shall not be deemed a waiver by either party of his claim. The government consents to be sued on account of any matter of dispute arising over his agreement but only in the High Court of American Samoa.

(b) The contract specialist agrees by contract not to participate in any strike against the government or any of its agencies during his term of service.

4.1013 Training.


Nominations for the training of contract specialists shall be submitted by his immediate supervisor to the director of manpower resources who shall retain discretion for its approval or disapproval. No contract specialist shall be recommended for training to gain skills or knowledge which he might reasonably be expected to possess in order to have been selected for his position.

4.1014 Work-product ownership- Discoveries and documents.


Any and all inventions, improvements, discoveries, documents, reports, memoranda, and data developed by the contract specialist relating to his position with the government will be the sole and absolute property of the government, and the government will be the sole and absolute owner of all patents, copyrights, or other rights in connection therewith.

4.1015 Dependents defined-Family status reports.


Dependents, as defined, shall be interpreted to mean the spouse and minor dependent children of the contract specialist, who are identified as such at the time his agreement is executed and who will reside with him at American Samoa for at least one year of the term of his agreement. It is the responsibility of the contract specialist to make known to the office of manpower resources changes in his family status as they occur.

4.1016 Immigration status-Departure upon termination.


(a) A contract specialist, by virtue of his employment with the government, obtains residency status within the territory for the duration of his agreement or term of service. In the event of the termination of his agreement for any reason whatsoever, the contract specialist contractually agrees to depart from the territory within 30 days from the termination date.

(b) Contract specialists who are not United States citizens must register annually as alien residents with the immigration division of the department of legal affairs.