Chapter 30 - Contract Specialists

Chapter 30 - Contract Specialists

4.3001 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 or she signs with ASPA. ASPA's Executive Director will send a letter to ASG requesting a contract. The contract is prepared by ASPA and approved by the Executive Director before being returned to the Office of Manpower Resources. Recruitment is then performed by ASPA. ASPA may ask ASG to assist in recruitment. If the contract is modified subsequent to the Executive Director's approval, an addendum is prepared by ASPA, approved by ASPA's board of directors and forwarded to the Office of Manpower Resources for filing.

4.3002 Temporary contract specialists.

(a) In addition to permanent contract specialists, ASPA will hire contract specialists to fill temporary positions or to work on temporary special projects. These temporary contract specialists are not en titled to career service status as defined by Chapter 7.13 ASCA (i.e., they do not accrue benefits or leave). All payments to these employees are made through ASPA's regular cash disbursements process and are not processed through the ASG payroll. The temporary contract specialists are subject

to the same standards of conduct as any other ASPA employee.

(b) A temporary service contract is prepared by ASPA. The contract is approved by the Executive Director and all employee records are maintained by ASPA. The contracts may be terminated upon 14 days written notice by either party.

4.3003 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 or she signs, the needs of ASPA 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) ASPA may coordinate off-island recruitment efforts 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 Executive Director of verifications of the candidate's claimed qualifications and references, and any reports of interviews of candidates and married candidates' spouses, is required.

4.3004 Compensation-Absence with pay-Review and reclassification.

(a) Compensation for positions filled by contract shall be in accordance with established ASPA salary rates based on the salary rates of the career service. Base salaries shall be taken from the appropriate ASPA salary schedule and the rules concerning same.

(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 ASPA.

(d) If substantial changes are contemplated in the duties and responsibilities assigned to a contract specialist during the life of his or her agreement, ASPA may review and reclassify the contract position.

(1) If the change is to a vacant position which is not under the supervision of ASPA then ASPA will be made a party to the agreement and he or she will also sign the amendment form and personnel/payroll action request which authorizes the 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 or her 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 the section of these regulations which addresses classification and pay.

4.3005 Transportation.

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

(1) The contract specialist and his or her 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 ASPA for his or her travel or shipment of household goods to the territory. ASPA will contract to return him or her and any dependents to his or her pre- agreed permanent residence at the satisfactory conclusion of his or her employment.

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

(4) The transportation expenses mentioned in his or her employment agreement shall constitute the measures of damages for a breach of his or her 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 or her contract, ASPA'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 or her dependents which may be transported legally in interstate commerce. I t 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 or her immediate family, nor does it include such items as motor vehicles, airplanes, trailers, boats, pets, livestock, cordwood, building materials, 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 Chapter 24.03 ASCA.

(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 ASPA.

Estimated Weight

Family Used for Calculations East of West of

Size (pounds) Mississippi Mississippi

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 Executive Director.

(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 or she must acquire additional insurance at his or her 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 or she is liable for additional charges imposed by customs or port authorities.

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

(1) A renewal bonus of $1,000 will be paid for two 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 or herself and any dependents.

(A) A contract specialist who renews his or her contract may be authorized round-trip transportation to a point other than his original point of hire; however, ASPA will only pay up to as much as the cost of economy jet transportation directly to his or her original point of hire. The contract specialist is required to pay for any extra travel charges in excess of his or her 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 or she has exhausted all travel authorized by his or her travel authorization form. He or she may not, at some future date, use the difference in fare to obtain further travel.

(f) Completion-of-contract Entitlement. If the contract specialist satisfactorily fulfills the conditions of his or her employment agreement, he or she and aJ1y dependents are entitled to:

(1) One-way, economy jet air transportation to his or her permanent residence:

(2) Unaccompanied air freight allowances 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.

4.3006 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 one working day for each full biweekly pay period during the tenure of his or her agreement, regardless of the amount of time worked during each pay period, except for periods of leave without pay,

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

(2) He or she may be administratively required by ASPA to take leave at any time.

(3) At the expiration of his or her 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 ASPA, 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 or her agreement. He or she will not, however, be entitled to accrue annual leave while on terminal leave.

(b) The con tract specialist shall accrue sick leave with pay at the rate of one-half day per full biweekly pay period and may be allowed such additional sick leave without pay as ASPA at its discretion may deem necessary.

4.3007 Medical benefits.

(a) The contract specialist and his or her dependents will be entitled to medical and dental services in American Samoa to be furnished by ASG. Such services may be subject to a nominal service charge to be paid by the con tract specialist. Medical services shall be within the limits of ASG's personnel, supplies, and facilities available from time to time in American Samoa. The contract specialist and his or her dependents will also be entitled to off-island medical care to the same extent furnished from time to time to American Samoans by ASG: provided that the contract specialist will be required to use and apply entitlement to hospital, medical and dental care benefits which he or she 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 judgement of ASG's 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.

4.3008 Termination for cause.

ASPA may discharge the con tract specialist and terminate his or her 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 payor other benefits.

(1) Removal shall be recommended to the Board of Directors by the Executive Director 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 Board of Directors shall give careful consideration to such recommendation and all background information of record. In this connection, the Board of Directors is expected to consult with the ASPA employee concerned.

(3) If the Board of Directors considers the recommendation to be reasonable, it shall advise the employee in writing of:

(A) The charges brought against him or her;

(B) The fact and effective date of his or her suspension without pay.

4.3009 Resignation- Termination without cause.

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

(b) If an unforseen 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 ASPA by the American Red Cross or other appropriate agency, the contract specialist may resign and be entitled to the full benefits to which he or she would have been entitled upon normal expiration of the term of service under his or her employment agreement.

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

(d) Upon 30 days' notice to the employee, ASPA may terminate his or her employment agreement at the discretion of ASPA 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 or she would be entitled upon normal expiration of the term of service under his or her agreement.

4.3010 Renewal of contract.

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

(b) A contract specialist must address his or her request for contract renewal in writing to the Board of Directors not less than 90 calendar days prior to the expiration date of his or her present agreement.

(c) Renewal of contract for a one year period will be limited to one renewal unless prior approval is obtained in writing from the Board of Directors.

4.3011 Employment after term of contract.

If employment of the contract specialist continues beyond the term of service specified in his or her 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 or her agreement, except those pertaining to termination for cause, shall continue in effect during such extended period of employment.

4.3012 Conduct-Reassignment-Career service eligibility-Self-employment.

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

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

(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 or she is entitled to permanent residency in American Samoa or if his or her spouse is entitled to permanent residency.

(d) Con tract specialists shall not engage in self-employment in American Samoa either directly or indirectly, in any form whatsoever during the terms of their agreements. See Appendix 1 7.06 ASCA.

4.3013 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 or her continued employment shall not be deemed a waiver by either party of his or her claim. ASPA consents to be sued on account of any matter of dispute arising over his or her agreement but only in the High Court of American Samoa.

(b) The contract specialist agrees by contract not to participate in any strike against ASPA during his or her term of service.

4.3014 Training.

Nominations for training of contract specialists shall be submitted to the Executive Director or the Board of Directors, who shall retain discretion for approval or disapproval. No contract specialist shall be recommended for training to gain skills or knowledge which he or she might reasonably be expected to possess in order to have been selected for his or her position.

4.3015 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 or her position with ASPA will be the sole and absolute property of ASPA and ASPA will be the sole and absolute owner of all patents, copyrights, or other rights in connection therewith.

4.3016 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 or her agreement is executed and who will reside with him or her in American Samoa for at least one year of the term of his or her agreement. It is the responsibility of the contract specialist to make known to the Executive Director changes in his or her family status as they occur.

4.3017 Immigration status-Departure upon termination.

(a) A contract specialist, by virtue of his or her employment with ASPA, obtains residency status within the territory for the duration of his or her agreement or term of service. In the event of the termination of his or her 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 of the ASG.