Chapter 01 - Contractors
The contractors licensing board and contractor license administrator derive their authority from Chapter 31.05 ASCA, in general, and 31.0503 and 31.0504 ASCA, in particular. The rules codified in this article are promulgated pursuant to 31.0503 (1) and (2) ASCA.
The contractors board interprets the interest of the legislature in enacting Chapter 31.05 ASCA to be the protection of the health, safety, and general welfare of all those persons dealing with individuals engaged in the contracting vocation and the affording to such individuals an effective and practical protection against incompetent, inexperienced, unlawful, and fraudulent acts of contractors with whom they contract. Also, the board's goal is to upgrade and cultivate responsibility within the contracting vocation as well as the promotion of craftsmanship and financial stability.
The contractors licensing board views the responsibilities of the contractors licensing board in relation to the board of tradesmen examiners as follows:
(a) The contractors licensing board's primary interest is as set out in 31.0102. It thus is concerned with the protection of the general public from unqualified or unscrupulous contractors of primary importance, then, is the:
(1) contractor's business skill and knowledge of legal requirements to engage in business;
(2) integrity and character of contractors; and
(3) the professional competency of the contractor if holder of a specialty license, or the competency of those responsible managing employees who qualify the contractor for license by taking and passing the specific examinations provided for in this chapter.
(b) Next, the board of tradesmen examiners is interested in the tradesmen who are foremen and general foremen licensed by them and who work at a trade immediately under the contractor or the responsible managing employee.
(c) All employees who are not contractors, responsible managing employees, or tradesmen, foremen or general foremen, shall be designated as laborers. All laborers shall be under the direct supervision of the tradesmen, responsible managing employee, or the contractor.
RME: Responsible Managing Employee, those employees who take and pass the "specific " examination by the contractors licensing board which qualify the contractor to obtain a license if such contractor has passed the general examination;
T: tradesmen licensed by the board of tradesmen examiners;
(d) A pyramid of the employees described in subsection (c) of this section is as follows:
(1) General engineering contractor:
(2) General building contractor:
(A) Responsible managing employee;
(3) Specialty contractor:
(A) The holder of a specialty license;
The board interprets its functions and the function of the administrator as follows :
(a) Administrator. The administrator is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the contractors licensing law and this chapter. His authority is set out in 31.0505 ASCA and 31.0530 of this article.
(b) Boards. The board's function is to promulgate this chapter to guide the administrator in his day-to-day administration. Then, the board's responsibility is to hear any appeal from an adverse decision of the administrator (see 31.0501 ASCA and 31.0134, 31.0135, and 31.0136 of this article). Therefore, the administrator acts first and the board, after passing the rules, acts only if an applicant or licensee appeals an adverse decision of the administrator.
For purposes of this chapter, the words below shall be defined as follows :
(a) "Administrator" means the contractor license administrator.
(b) "Board" means the contractors licensing board.
(c) "Contractor" means any person, firm, copartnership, corporation, association, or other organization, or any combination of any thereof, who for a fixed sum, price, fee. percentage, or other compensation other than wages, undertakes with another for the construction, alteration, repair, addition to, or improvement of any building, highway, road, excavation, or other structure, project, development, or improvement, other than to personalty, or any part thereof. The term includes anyone who builds more than 1 structure on his own property during any 1 year for the purpose of sale and any subcontractor, but does not include anyone who merely furnished materials or supplies without fabricating the same into or consuming the same in the performance of the work of the contractor as herein defined. The term also includes any person who, by advertising or otherwise, holds himself out as a contractor, but does not include persons regularly engaged as maintenance personnel who do casual, isolated, or incidental repairs.
(d) "General examination" refers to that examination given by the administrator which is required of every applicant for a contractor's license, or a management member, if the applicant is a copartnership, corporation, combination, or other association.
(e) "Person" means an individual, partnership, joint venture, corporation, or any combination thereof. "Corporaton " includes an association, business trust or any organized trust or any organized group of persons.
(f) "Responsible managing employee" (RME) means those employees who take and pass the specific examination dealing with craftmanship and knowledge of building trades. RME's shall be superintendents for the job and shall be responsible for the work done in relation to the type of specific examination taken and passed.
(g) "Responsible managing member" (RMM) means that bona fide member of a copartnership, corporation, combination, or other association, so designated to take the general examination for such copartnership, corporation, combination, or other association, which shall be noted on any license issued.
(h) "Specific examination" means that examination given by the administrator or his designee which tests the applicant or his responsible managing employee regarding a specific building trade or trades, knowledge of construction methods, and knowledge of relevant building codes, laws, and regulations.
Pursuant to 31.0506 ASCA, no person, firm, copartnership, corporation, association, or other association, or any combination of any thereof, whether locally or foreign in origin, shall engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor without having a contractor's license issued by the board. Any person who violates this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.
(a) Pursuant to 31.0507 ASCA there shall be 3 classifications of contractors' licenses:
(1) General engineering contractor's license;
(2) General building contractor's license;
(3) Specialty contractor's license.
(b) Maximum bid classifications are established for general engineering and general building contractors' licenses as set out in this subsection. There shall be no maximum bid classifications for specialty contractors.
(1) Class 1 unlimited;
(2) Class 2 not to exceed $150,000;
(3) Class 3 not to exceed 75,000;
(4) Class 4 not to exceed 25,000.
A contractor's net worth, as reflected on his financial statement, multiplied by 4 shall be the basis for ascertaining the bid classification which shall apply to each general engineering or general building contractor. Such contractor may contract within the maximum amount of his maximum bid classification. In other words, if a contractor's net worth is $12,000 and is multiplied by 4, giving a total of $48,000, he may contract within the $75,000 maximum bid classification.
The money amount for classes 2, 3 and 4 shall be the total of all goods and services supplied by contractor pursuant to contract with other persons. The money amounts for classes 2, 3, and 4 is the maximum amount for the respective contractors, and contractor shall add the amounts of all work currently engaged in to ascertain if he is still within the maximum amount allowed. For work in progress contractor shall add the balance remaining on such work with any new work when obtaining a total. In this context, the protection of the contractor's creditors is of utmost importance and the administrator may demand full and complete financial records of the relevant work then in progress and shall have full and complete discretion in setting the amount of the balance of work then in progress. The administrator's decision shall be final. In addition, the administrator may disapprove of any contract in excess of the net worth of the contractor multiplied by 4 if, in the opinion of the administrator, the contractor is not financially responsible for such additional amount. Since such a decision necessarily involves a value judgment based upon consideration of business acumen of the contractor, trustworthiness, monetary integrity , and the competence of contractor's employees, such decision by the administrator may be appealed only to the board, and the board's decision shall be final, and no appeal shall lie whatsoever beyond the board.
All applications for a general contractor's license or specialty contractor's license shall be submitted to the administrator and shall be made upon a form supplied by the administrator. Such application shall contain the following information or items and such other and further information deemed necessary by the administrator:
(1) The required fee as set out in 31.0121;
(2) A certified financial statement for the previous year, detailing all of the applicant's income, expenses, and debts in sufficient detail so as to fully apprise the administrator of the applicant's financial condition. In addition, the administrator may require a certified financial statement for the year the application is made if such application is made 3 or more months past 1 Jan of such year;
(3) The names and addresses of 3 references, known by applicant for a substantial period of time, of which the administrator may obtain information regarding the applicant's financial ability, business knowledge, and integrity;
(4) Information regarding whomever the applicant has been associated with in joint ventures, partnerships, corporations, or any other combination or association within the last 3 years, the length of such association, the date of disassociation, any outstanding debts from such association, and such other and further information as the administrator deems relevant regarding such association;
(5) The amount of experience, either business, professional, supervisory, of applicant, in such detail as the administrator deems necessary;
(6) The names and amount of experience of the applicant's qualifying responsible managing employees, if any, in such detail as the administrator deems necessary.
No license shall be issued to any person not legally eligible to enter into a contract binding on all parties, or to any copartnership of which a member is so ineligible, or to any corporation, officer, director which is not eligible, or to any other type of business organization of which an ineligible person is designated as a responsible managing member.
The administrator may deny any application, if insufficient, for the following reasons: the applicant has not supplied the required information, references, or financial statement. In this event, the administrator shall return the application form and fee with a letter advising the applicant of his denial of the application, stating the reason therefor.
Since the administrator shall advise the applicant by letter if he finds that the application is insufficient for any reason set out in 31.0111, there shall be no review whatsoever of the administrator's decision in this context except for arbitrary or capricious denial by the administrator. If arbitrary and capricious action of the administrator is alleged and supported by specific facts, such action may be appealed to the contractors licensing board for hearing as to whether license should issue.
(a) Licensees may obtain supplemental licenses authorizing contract work beyond that covered by the original license. For example, a license to do plumbing contracting may be taken out as a supplemental license to a general building license. It should also be noted that more than I supplemental license may be obtained. The examination for a supplemental license is the same specific one given for the original license. No general examination will be given in this context because the applicant will have already passed such examination to obtain his original license.
(b) Application forms for supplemental licenses are available from the administrator upon request.
(a) Every applicant for an original contractor's license shall be required to take the examination prepared and administered by the administrator or his designee.
(b) There shall be 2 types of examinations: a specific examination which shall be one approved and required for a particular classification, and a general examination which shall be approved and required for all classifications.
(1) Specific Examination. Specific examinations shall be administered either by the administrator or his designee and shall be concerned with the particular specialty applied for (31.0510 ASCA, specialty contractor) or one or more unrelated and generally recognized building trades (31.0509 ASCA, general building contractor; 3 trades required) or engineering (31.0508 ASCA, general engineering contractor).
(A) Specialty contractor's license: For a specialty contractor's license the applicant must personally take and pass the examination for the specialty applied for in addition to the general examination as set out ill subsection (2) of this section. On application by the specialty contractor for supplemental specialty licenses, an employee of the specialty contractor may take the specific test. Such employee will then be designated a responsible managing employee. (Note: An individual who is not employed may not take a specific examination from the contractors license board to obtain a supplemental specialty license, as such license is supplemental to the specialty license. He may, of course, take the general and specific examinations on application for a specialty contractor's license or he may be tested by the board of tradesmen examiners pursuant to Chapter 31.05 ASCA and rules promulgated thereto for a tradesmen certificate.)
(B) General building contractor's license: The applicant for a general building contractor's license need not take the specific examination personally as long as l or more of his employees take and pass examinations administered by the administrator or his designee for 3 unrelated and generally recognized building trades, and such employees are designated responsible managing employees, and the general contractor engages in only those trades as licensed.
(C) General engineering licenses: An applicant for a general engineering contractor's license need not take the specific examination personally as long as l or more of his employees take: and pass such examination and are responsible managing employees, and all work done by such general engineering contractor is the type of work which was the subject of the examination taken and passed by the responsible managing t: mployee or general engineering contractor.
(D) The administrator may substitute part of the specific examination required in this sub section by on-the-job inspections of the applicant's ability and by the requiring of work samples, blueprint discussions, or other practical discussions or demonstrations.
(2) General Examination. Every applicant operating a sole proprietorship shall personally take and pass a general knowledge examination approved and administered by the administrator. Every copartnership, corporation, or other combination or association shall designate a member of its management to take such general knowledge examination. Such examination shall cover the following subjects:
(A) General knowledge of labor and alien law in American Samoa;
(B) General knowledge of safety and health laws,
(C) Such general knowledge of administration principles of the contracting business as the board deems necessary for the health, safety, and protection of the public;
(D) General knowledge of tax and social security requirements, Workmen's Compensation Act requirements, and immigration law and rules regarding employment of aliens.
(c) Examinations shall be given at least once ea ch quarter of the calendar year.
Applicants for contracting licenses must possess the following experience and provide satisfactory proof thereof to the administrator.
(a) Every applicant for a contractor's license or the applicant's responsible managing employee in the care of a general building contractor's license must have had, within the last 10 years immediately preceding the filing of the application, not less than 4 years' experience as a journeyman, foreman, supervising employee, or contractor in the particular class within which the applicant intends to engage as a contractor. Acceptable technical training in an accredited school will be counted as experience for the purposes of this section but in no case will technical training count for more than 3 years' experience. If the applicant designates a responsible managing employee who takes and passes the specific examination in the applicant's stead, such information shall be noticed on the license issued, and all work done by the general contractor shall be done under the direct control and supervision of the responsible managing employee and shall be of the type of work for which such employee was examined in the specific examination.
(b) The required experience for a con tractor's license may be possessed more than 3 separate individuals.
(c) The required experience for a specialty contractor's license shall be possessed by a member of the applicant entity or the responsible managing employee who shall be required to take the specific examination.
(d) Qualification for experience:
(1) If an individual, he may qualify by a personal appearance or by the appearance of his responsible managing employee(s).
(2) If a copartnership, a corporation, or any other combination or organization, it may qualify by the appearance of the responsible managing employee(s) for purposes of taking and passing the specific examination and a member of the applicant entity of such firm for purposes of taking and passing the general examination.
(3) The individual(s) qualifying on behalf of an individual or firm under this section shall allege and prove to the satisfaction of the administrator that he is a bona fide managing member or employee of such individual, copartnership, corporation, or other combination or association, and, at all times when the, principal or employer is actively engaged as a contractor, shall exercise authority in connection with his individual firm, copartnership, corporation, combination, or association or in connection with the employer's contracting business, as the case may be.
(4) The exercise of authority so as to qualify for a license for the firm, copartnership, corporation, combination, or association shall be as, or similar to, the following:
(A) Responsible managing employees: be superintendants of the work and other employees, be responsible for the technical competence of the work, be responsible for integrity of work done in relation to the blueprints, specifications, or other drawings of work;
(B) Member of management qualifying the firm : make administrative decisions, etc.
(a) The administrator shall deny an application for a con tractor's license :
(1) if the applicant fails to make a sufficient application as more fully explained in 31.0 109;
(2) if the applicant fails either the general or specific examination or the person designated as the responsible managing employee fails the specific examination; or
(3) if the applicant or his responsible managing employee has insufficient experience as required by 31.0115; or
(4) if the responsible managing employee or responsible managing member is not a bona fide employee or member;
(5) if the applicant is an ineligible individual as defined by 31.0 110; or
(6) if the applicant provides false or fraudulent information in his application for a license; or
(7) for any other matter deemed sufficient by the administrator considering the Contractors Licensing Law and this chapter; or
(8) for any other reason set out in 31.0131, Suspension or revocation grounds.
Any denial of an application for the above set-out reasons may be appealed to the board for a hearing de novo. Such appeal must be brought within ten days of the notice of denial by the administrator.
(a) Each contractor shall submit to the administrator, for his and the board's use, a certified yearly financial statement. Such statement shall be due and submitted in conjunction with the contractor's application for a business license pursuant to Chapter 27.02 ASCA.
(b) In addition, the administrator may require a financial statement for any contract in which contractor has agreed to supply goods or services, and the administrator may require financial statements at any time he believes that contractor may be contracting beyond the maximum bid classification in which the contractor has been placed by the administrator or board.
(a) A joint venture on a construction project is permissible and joint ventures are divided into 2 classifications:
(1) Joint venture on performance of work: This type of joint venture is permissible provided all parties to the joint venture hold contractor's licenses in the proper classification for the principal work to be bid or contracted.
(2) Joint venture on financing: A holder of a general building contractor's license may join himself with another person, firm, partnership, corporation, or association for purposes of obtaining credit or to obtain a cosigner for its obligations, or to obtain a higher maximum bid classification by use of the other's financial statement, provided all joint venturers are residents or conduct their business in the United States. Such person, firm, partnership, corporation, or association shall appoint an agent within American Samoa so that service of process and other notices, papers, and communications may be effected.
(b) Notice of intent to enter into either type of joint venture or partnership shall be filed with the administrator before a bid is submitted, and the administrator shall have complete discretion to accept or reject such joint venture. The administrator may demand a financial statement from such person, firm, copartnership, corporation, or association or other information he deems necessary. Such decision by the administrator shall be final and binding on the parties and no appeal shall lie whatsoever.
(a) Any person who advertises or puts out any sign or card or other device which would Indicate to the public that he is, within the meaning of the law, a contractor, who causes his name or business namestyle to be included in a classified advertisement or directory under a classification which includes the word "contractor" is subject to the provisions of 31.0501 ASCA.
(b) Any person who advertises as described ill subsection (a) of this section under a classification other than his license classification is subject to the provision of this section regardless of whether his operations as a contractor are otherwise exempted.
(c) "Advertising" as used in this section includes, but not by way of limitation, the issuance of any card, sign, or device to any person, the causing, permitting, or allowing of any sign or marking on or in any building or structure, or in any newspaper, magazine, or by airwave transmission, or in any directory under a listing of contractor, with or without any limiting qualifications.
If the individual qualifying by an examination of his experience and knowledge ceases for any reason whatsoever to be connected with the licensee to whom the license is issued, the licensee shall notify the administrator in writing within 10 days from such cessation, disassociation, or unemployment. If a notice is given within the prescribed time, the license shall remain in force for a length of time to be determined necessary by the administrator for another individual to so qualify.
If the licensee fails to notify the administrator within the 10-day period, at the end of such period his license shall be ipso facto suspended. The license shall be reinstated upon the filing of an affidavit, executed by the licensee or a member of the licentiate firm and filed with the administrator, to the effect that the person originally appearing for examination on behalf of the licensee has been replaced by another individual and that the individual has been qualified by examination and that he can comply with the provisions of this chapter and that he has not been connected with a licensee who has had his license suspended or revoked for reasons that would preclude this individual from personally qualifying as to the good character required of an applicant.
(a) Pursuant to 31.0505 (3) ASCA, the following fees are established as guidelines for the administrator:
(1) Application fee for an original contractor's license $25:
(2) Annual renewal fee for contractor's license $25;
(3) Renewal fee if renewal application is made after 1 January and before 30 June of the year applied for $75;
(4) Renewal fee if renewal application is made after 30 June of the year applied for plus one and a half years $150;
(5) Original and annual renewal fee for supplemental specialty contractor's license (after the initial fee of $25) $5;
(6) Copy of contractor's license or supplementary specialty contractor's license. $1;
(7) Examination fees set by the administrator shall not exceed $100 per person per examination. Outside testing firms may be contracted with by the administrator to give the examination.
(b) The sums set out in subsection (a) of this section shall be paid by applicant to the revenue division of the government treasury. In the event the applicant for a license withdraws his application prior to testing of such applicant by the administrator, one-half of the application fee shall be returned to such applicant. If the applicant is refused such license or withdraws his application after tests have been administered, there shall be no refund of the fee.
In cases where an applicant for an original license has previously been licensed either as an individual, a member of a license partnership, or as an officer of a licensed corporation and the prior license has never been suspended or revoked and there is no disciplinary proceeding pending against the applicant or any licensee with whom he has been associated, the administrator may waive the requirement for written examination or the information requested in the prescribed application form or any part thereof be given, or that references be furnished.
In addition to duties otherwise provided for by the contractors law and this chapter, the licensee is responsible for the following:
(a) Licensees shall advise the administrator within 30 days of any change of address.
(b) A contractor's license issued under the provisions of the licensing law is not transferable. A change in name, business designation, or personnel of a licensee may have the legal effect of attempting to transfer the license and of operating without a license. Therefore, all such changes must be reported to the administrator within 10 days after making any such change.
(c) Creation of a partnership creates a new legal entity which requires all partners to the partnership to hold proper individual licenses or the partnership itself must be licensed.
(d) Creation of a corporation creates a new legal person which requires a new license even though l or more. stockholders have a contractor's license. A license held by a stockholder cannot be authority for the corporation to engage in contracting.
(e) The dissolution of a corporation which has been licensed operates to terminate the license, and no individual or firm may operate under such license.
(f) The change of members of a partnership, either by the addition of a partner or partners or by the withdrawal of a partner or partners, creates a new legal entity which cannot operate on the license of the former partnership.
(g) The administrator must be notified of any change in the officers of a corporation within 10 days after the effective date of such change. The failure of a licensee to notify the administrator of any such change will subject licensee to the revocation or suspension of his license.
(a) Each license issued under this article shall be in effect, unless suspended, modified, or revoked pursuant to Chapter 31.05 ASCA or this article, until 31 December of the year issued. At that date all licenses lapse automatically unless renewal application has been made and fee tendered as prescribed in this article.
(b) Should a licensee allow a license to lapse by failure to reapply or should a licensee fail to provide the necessary information on such application form or information requested by the administrator, or fail to tender the required fee, such license may be renewed on or before 30 June of the following year without the licensee being required to retake the examinations provided for in this chapter for new applications, provided all other requirements of the law and rules are complied with. Failure to renew on or before 30 June of the following year and to pay the appropriate renewal fee shall subject the applicant to all procedures set out in this chapter for new applicants.
The administrator shall mail to every licensee, between 15 Nov and 15 Dec each year, at such licensee's address of record with the administrator, a renewal application form approved by the board. The renewal application form or any accompanying sheet shall contain instructions to the licensee for the completion of said application and the conditions and requirements for a valid renewal of the license. Except as provided in this chapter, the licensee seeking renewal of the license shall answer all questions in the renewal form and comply with all instructions therein; failure to do so may be grounds for refusal to renew such license.
(a) All licensees must file a renewal application on or before 31 Dec of each year in order to keep the license in good standing. Filing an application after 31 Dec will require payment of double the regular renewal fee. Delinquent renewals may be redeemed on such a basis for 6 months, after which a new application, together with the double fee, is necessary in order to obtain the license.
(b) The date upon which a renewal application is filed with the administrator shall be determined, if the same is sent by mail, by the date of the postmark appearing upon the envelope containing the application; if personally delivered to the administrator, rIling date shall be determined by the date on which the application is received by the administrator.
In cases in which a renewal application on file as of 1 Jan of any year is insufficient in the respect that it is not accompanied by the proper fee, or the fee if sent is not accompanied by the prescribed renewal application form, the license shall be suspended and no renewal license issued unless the insufficiency is corrected on or before 30 Jun of the same year. The administrator in such cases shall notify the licensee of such insufficiency, return the fee tendered if improper, or the renewal application or both, and advise in what respect his renewal application is insufficient.
In cases in which the renewal application has a minor defect such as where the applicant has failed to sign the application form or to complete it in some minor respect, the applicant shall be deemed to have substantially complied with the requirements for filing renewal applications pending the correction of the discrepancy. In such cases, the administrator shall hold the tendered fee and notify the licensee of the defect in his application form, and shall not issue the renewal license until the insufficiency in the renewal form has been corrected. If after a reasonable time, the licensee has still failed to correct such insufficiency, the administrator may return the tendered fee and such license shall be ipso facto suspended.
Renewal fees shall be paid at the revenue division of the ASG and shall be according to schedule set out in 31.0121.
Pursuant to 31.0505 (4) ASCA, the administrator may take any lawful administrative action necessary to accomplish the purpose of the Contractors Licensing Law and this chapter. Such action may be, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) To investigate the qualifications and business operation of applicants for licenses under this chapter or any licensee, including the use of any examination designed to test the qualifications and competence of applicants and their appointed responsible managing employees;
(2) To issue or renew or to refuse to issue or renew, to limit or modify, or to suspend or revoke any license provided for in this chapter;
(3) To prescribe forms for completion by applicant to ascertain such information as needed to enforce the provisions of the Contractors Licensing Law and this chapter;
(4) To prescribe examinations for the testing of applicants and their responsible managing employees;
(5) To appoint a person, persons, or a department or agency to examine applicants or their responsible managing employees as to their professional competence;
(6) To require applicants to provide references so that the administrator may obtain information from others regarding the competence or character of the applicant or his responsible managing employee;
(7) To investigate any complaints or any matters otherwise known to the administrator regarding the competency, character, working habits, or ethics of any licensee or his responsible managing employee and to require an answer from such person or persons regarding such complaints, and to take such action as the administrator may feel justified and as provided in the Contractors Licensing Law and this article after investigation of the complaint or other matter;
(8) To make such orders as are provided for in the Contractors Licensing Law and this chapter;
(9) To grant a temporary contractor's license and certify the responsible managing employee for churches and other charitable organizations. A responsible managing employee approved for a temporary license holder may work on no more than one project in a 2 year period. The administrator shall give an oral examination to the contractor and responsible managing employee applicants based on the law, and the plans and specifications of the project. The fees as established by 31.0 121 ASAC shall apply to a temporary license. Approval shall be for a class 4 license only. The following sections of this chapter shall apply to a temporary license: 31.0101 through 31.0106, 31.0109 through 31.0116, 31.0120 through 31.0124,31.0128, and 31.0130 through 31.0138 inclusive; 31.0124 shall apply but is limited to the project. The license holder shall not advertise nor in any way hold him or herself out to others as an approved contractor or responsible managing employee except as a temporary licensee for this one project. There must be a demonstration that the church or other charity has the required nonprofit status with the tax office of the government treasury.
(a) The administrator may revoke any license issued hereunder, or suspend the right of the licensee to use such licenses, or refuse to renew any such license for any of the following causes:
(1) Knowingly contracting beyond the scope of the license or licenses of licensee;
(2) Knowingly entering into a contract with a contractor for work to be performed for which a license is required with a person not duly licensed in the required classification;
(3) Workmanship not meeting minimum standards as set out by the Federal Housing Administration or the U.S. National Board of Fire Underwriters, the department of environmental health, or similar recognized bodies, or the administrator;
(4) Acting in the capacity of a contractor under any license issued in a name other than as set forth upon the license;
(5) The filing of a petition by or against the licensee or adjudication as a bankrupt, for reorganization of or for an arrangement within the meaning of the bankruptcy laws, or the appointment of a receiver or trustee of licensee's property;
(6) Conviction of a felony;
(7) Any dishonest or fraudulent or deceitful act as a contractor which causes a substantial damage to another;
(8) Engaging in any unfair or deceptive act or practice as prohibited by law;
(9) Abandonment of any construction project or operation without reasonable or legal excuse;
(10) Wilful diversion of funds or property received for prosecution or completion of a specific construction project or operation, or for a specified purpose in the prosecution or completion of any construction project or operation, and the use thereof for any other purposes;
(11) Wilful departure from, or wilful disregard of plans or specifications in any material respect without consent of the owner or his duly authorized representative, which is prejudicial to a person entitled to have the construction project or operation completed in accordance with such plans and specifications;
(12) Wilful violation of any law of the territory , or of any political subdivision thereof, relating to building, including any violation of any applicable rule or regulation of the department of health, or of any applicable safety or labor law;
(13) Failure to make and keep records showing all contracts, documents, records, receipts, and disbursements by a licensee of all his transactions as a contractor for a period of not less than three years after completion of any construction project or operation to which the records refer or to permit inspection of such records by the board;
(14) When the license being a copartnership or a joint venture permits any member or employee of such copartnership or joint venture who does not hold a license to have the direct management of the contracting business thereof;
(15) When the licensee being a corporation permits any officer or employee of such corporation who does not hold a license to have the direct management of the contracting business thereof;
(16) Misrepresentation of a material fact by an applicant in obtaining a license;
(17) Failure of a licensee to complete in a material respect any construction project or operation for the agreed price if such failure is without legal excuse;
(18) Wilful failure in any material respect to comply with this chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto;
(19) Wilful failure or refusal to prosecute a project or operation to completion with reasonable diligence;
(20) Wilful failure to pay when due a debt incurred for services or materials rendered or purchased in connection with his operations as a contractor when he has the ability to pay or when he has received sufficient funds therefor as payment for the particular operation for which the services or materials were rendered or purchased;
(21) The false denial of any debt due or the validity of the claim therefor with intent to secure for licensee, his employer, or other person, any discount of such debt or with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud the person to whom such debt is due;
(22) Failure to secure or maintain workers' compensation insurance;
(23) Knowingly entering into a contract with an unlicensed contractor involving work or activity for the performance of which licensing is required under this chapter.
(b) No license shall be suspended for longer than two years and no person whose license is revoked shall be eligible to apply for a new license until the expiration of two years.
Pursuant to 31.0515 ASCA, any applicant or licensee whose license is refused, revoked, suspended, modified, or limited by the administrator, or who receives other adverse action by the administrator, shall be entitled to a written copy of the administrator's decision setting forth the facts and reasons on which the refusal, revocation, suspension, modification, or limitation, or other adverse action, is based. The decision shall also advise the applicant or licensee of his right to a hearing before the board as provided in this article.
Pursuant to 31.516 ASCA, any applicant or licensee who receives any adverse action by the administrator as provided in 31.0515 ASCA shall be entitled to a hearing before the board if he files a written request for a hearing with the board within 10 days after receiving a copy of the administrator's decision. A request for a hearing shall state which specific findings of fact and reasons of the administrator are contested, and the hearing shall be confined to the issue raised by the request. If no timely request is filed, the administrator's decision shall be final and effective and the case shall not thereafter be heard by the board or reviewed by the court under 31.0136. After a hearing has been held, the board shall dispose of the case on the basis of the evidence adduced.
(a) Pursuant to 31.0503(d) ASCA, the board has power to hold hearings, to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, to order the production of documents and other tangible evidence, to administer oaths, and to cite for contempt.
(b) Subsequent to a hearing upon an appeal by a licensee or applicant from an adverse decision by the administrator, the board, pursuant to 31.0503(c) ASCA, has the power to issue or renew or to refuse to issue or renew, to limit or modify, or to suspend or revoke any license provided for in the Contractors Licensing Law. (Note: The board interprets its power in this respect to hold a hearing de novo of any matter decided by the administrator.) The board may then affirm the decision of the administrator of may decide otherwise as provided by law and this article. The board's policy is to afford great weight to the administrator's decision due to his day-to-day association and contact with the licensees and his administration of the law and rules, giving weight to his experience, competence, and expertise.)
Pursuant to 31.0517 ASCA, any applicant or licensee whose license is limited, refused, suspended, or revoked by the board or who receives other adverse action by the board shall be entitled to a written copy of the board's decision setting forth the facts and reasons on which the limitation, refusal, suspension, revocation, or other adverse action is based. The decision shall also contain a summary of the evidence on which the board's findings of fact are based. This decision, together with the decision of the administrator and any application or other papers filed by the applicant or licensee, shall constitute the record of proceedings before the board. The board may, in its discretion, include in the record any other material property received at the hearing.
Pursuant to 31.0518 ASCA any applicant or licensee aggrieved by a decision of the board may petition the appellate division of the High Court of American Samoa to review the decision. A copy of the petition shall be served on the board within 30 days. After service of the petition, the board shall. [lie the record of proceedings with the court. The review by the court shall be confined to the record. Upon request by any party, the court shall receive briefs and hear oral argument. On motion of any party, the court may, in its discretion, receive any evidence necessary to supplement the record. A petition for review may be filed no later than 10 days after a copy of the board's decision has been served on the applicant or licensee. The filing of a petition shall not stay the action of the board, but the board may order a stay on appropriate terms.
After suspension of the license upon any of the grounds set forth in this article or in the Contractors Licensing Law, the administrator may reinstate the license upon proof of compliance by the contractor with all provisions for reinstatement.
After revocation of a license upon any of the grounds set forth in this article or in the Contractors Licensing Law, the license shall not be reinstated or reissued within a period of 1 year after the final decision of revocation, and then only on proper showing that all loss caused by the act or omission for which the license was revoked has been fully satisfied and that all conditions imposed by the decision of revocation have been complied with.
(a) It should be pointed out that licenses issued by the administrator relate only to the contracting of the work itself and have nothing to do with other sections of the territorial law requiring specific professional or trade qualification to do certain types of work. For example, a license as a plumbing contractor does not preclude the necessity of a journeyman plumber doing the actual work nor does a general contractor license preclude the necessity of a journeyman mason, electrician, or plumber from doing the actual work related to those trades, etc. In brief, contractors' licenses are only licenses to contract and as such carry with them no other privileges or rights.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to extend the field and scope of the operations of a licensed contractor to those in which he is not classified and qualified to engage. Failure on the part of a licensee to observe this rule shall constitute grounds for suspension or revocation of license.
A general engineering contractor's license shall authorize the licensee to engage principally in the contracting business in connection with' fixed works for any or all of the following: irrigation, drainage, water power, water supply, flood control, inland waterways, harbors, railroads, highways, tunnels, airports, airways, sewers, and bridges.
A general building contractor's license shall authorize the licensee to engage principally in the building or superintendence of the building of any structure for support, shelter, and enclosure of persons, animals, chattels, or movable property of any kind. A general building contractor licensee shall be competent in at least 3 unrelated and generally recognized building trades, all of which shall be specified in the license.
A licensee classified as a general building contractor, as defined in 31.0509 ASCA, shall not enter into a contract unless the same requires more than 2 unrelated 'building trades or crafts or; unless he has qualified for the particular specialty classification or classifications by acquiring a specialty license for the trade or craft.
(a) A specialty contractor's license may be issued the licensee to engage in contracting for l or more unrelated and generally recognized building trades for which he is competent, each of which shall be specified in the license. A specialty contractor's license may also be issued authorizing and licensee to engage in contracting for the building of specific types of structures or fixtures for which he is competent, each of which shall be specified in the license.
(b) A licensee classified as a specialty contractor shall not act in the capacity of a contractor in any classification other than the one in which he is licensed unless the work is incidental and supplemental to the performance of a contract in a classification in which the contractor is licensed.
(a) The construction industry has untold specialized trades and crafts; to establish separate classifications would require the establishment of many more classifications than set forth in this article. Therefore, the declared policy of the administrator and the board is to establish the classifications set out in 31.0146 et seq. which are more common in the trade and defined the scope of these respective operations. Other specialty classifications not listed in this article will be issued to applicants if their operations are not included in the classifications defined when they meet the qualifications prescribed by the administrator.
(b) From time to time, as the need arises, the administrator may establish other specialty classifications not included in this article.
Steamfitting and boiler work means to install fire-tube and water-tube steel power boilers, including all steam filling and piping, fittings, valves, gauges, pumps, radiators, convectors, fuel oil tanks, fuel oil lines, chimneys, flues, heat insulation, and all other devices, apparatus, and equipment appurtenant thereto, in such a manner that power boiler installations and steam fitting can be executed, fabricated, and installed or to do any part or any combination of any thereof.
Cabinet work and millwork means to select, cut, surface, join, stick, glue, and frame wood and wood products, in such a manner that, under an agreed specification, acceptable cabinet, case, sash, door, trim, nonbearing partition, and such other mill products as are by custom and usage accepted in the building and construction industry as cabinet and millwork, can be executed, including the placing, erecting, fabricating, and finishing in buildings, structures, and elsewhere of such cabinet and millwork, or to do any part of any combination of any thereof.
Carpentry means to select, grade, cut, join, fabricate, combine, and frame wood and wood products for structural and finish purposes in a structure or building, including forming and pouring concrete foundations, hanging doors and windows, fabricating cabinets and fixtures relative to the structure or building, including any repair thereof, and such other carpentry work and limited remodeling work as is by custom and usage accepted in the building and construction industry as carpentry, or to do any part or combination of any thereof. No plumbing, electrical, or work of any other established contractor can be done under this classification.
Carpet work means to examine surfaces and specify the preliminary and preparatory work necessary to bring such surfaces to a condition where, under an agreed specification, acceptable fabric floor coverings can be executed thereon to form an acceptable finished floor and to use other materials as are by custom and usage accepted in the building and construction industry as carpet, or to do any part or combination of any thereof.
Cement and concrete work means to proportion, batch, and mix aggregates consisting of sand, gravel, crushed rock, or other inert materials having clean uncoated grains of strong and durable minerals, cement, and water or to do any part or any combination of any thereof, in such a manner that under an agreed specification, acceptable mass, pavement, flat, and other cement and concrete work can be poured, placed, finished, and installed, including the placing of forms and formwork necessary for the performance of work deformed in this section.
Ceramic tile work means to examine the surfaces and specify and execute the preliminary and preparatory work necessary to bring such surfaces to a condition where burned-clay tile work can be executed thereon by first preparing a base or subsurface for such tile, which tile will adhere by suction or which is held upon such prepared base or subsurface by adhesives, including all pseudo tile products, in such a manner that acceptable tile work may be executed, fabricated, and installed, but shall not include hollow or structural-partition tile.
Electrical work means the placing, installing, erecting, or connecting of any electrical wires, fixtures, appliances, apparatus, raceways, or conduits, or any part thereof, which generate, transmit, transform, or utilize electrical energy in any form and in connection with which electrical energy is used for any purpose whatsoever other than to personalty, or any part thereof.
Excavating and grading means to dig, move, and place material forming the surface of the earth, other than air and water, in such a manner that a cut, fill, excavation, grade, trench, back- fill, and any similar excavating, grading, and trenching operation, can be executed with the use of those hand and power tools and machines that use and custom has established for, or which tools and machines are now used to, dig, move, and place that material forming the surface of the earth, other than air and water, including the use of explosives in connection therewith, or to do any part or any combination of any thereof.
Floor covering work means to examine surfaces and specify the preliminary and preparatory work necessary to bring such surfaces to a condition where, under an agreed specification, acceptable finished floors can be installed with the use of composition materials and fabrics and such other materials as are by custom and usage accepted in the building and construction industry as floor coverings, or to do any part or combination of any thereof, not to include fabric carpeting.
Masonry means to select, cut, and lay precast cinder or concrete blocks, brick, and other baked clay products, rough, cut, and dressed stone, artificial stone, structural glass brick or block, laid at random or in courses, with or without mortar, or to do any part, or any combination of any thereof, in such a manner that under an agreed specification, acceptable brick and other baked clay products, stone, and structural glass brick or block masonry can be executed, fabricated, and erected, but shall not include those contractors whose sole contracting business is the application of tile to existing surfaces or the execution, fabrication and erection of poured cement and concrete masonry.
Painting means to examine surfaces and specify and execute the preliminary and preparatory work necessary to bring such surfaces to a condition where, under an agreed specification, acceptable work can be executed thereon with the use of any or all of the following: paints, pigments, oils, turpentines, japans, driers, thinners, varnishes, shellacs, stains, fillers, waxes, cement, water, plastics, and other vehicles, mediums, and materials that may be mixed, used, and applied to the surfaces of buildings, edifices, structures, monuments, and the appurtenances thereto, of every kind, type, and description in their natural state or condition, or constructed or fabricated of any material or materials whatsoever that can be painted as are by custom and usage accepted in the building and construction industry as painting.
Structural pest control means to examine a building or structure for damage effected by termites and other similar pests, and to specify the work necessary to bring the building or structure into an adequate condition for occupancy and usage by the removal, treatment, repair, and replacement of the damaged portion into a position commensurate with the quality and condition of the building or structure before such damage occurred, or to do any part or any combination of any thereof in connection therewith.
Plastering and lathing means the coating of surfaces with a mixture of sand, gypsum, plaster, quicklime or hydrated lime and water, or sand and cement and water, or a combination of such other materials as create a permanent surface coating, and which coatings are usually applied with a plasterer's trowel or other mechanical means over any surface which offers a mechanical key for the support of such coating, or to which such coating will adhere by suction or which has been manufactured to provide a base for such coating. Also, to examine surfaces and specify, select, apply, and affix wood, gypsum, and metal lath, or any other materials or product prepared or manufactured to provide key or suction bases for the support of plaster coatings, in such a manner that, under an agreed specification, acceptable lathing can be executed and installed, including the channel iron work for the support of metal or other fireproof lath work for solid plaster partitions, but plastering and lathing shall not include the erection of any wall, ceiling, or soffit to which such key or suction plaster bases are applied.
Plumbing means the creating and maintaining of sanitary conditions in buildings, structures, and works where people or animals live, work, and assemble, by providing a permanent means for a supply of safe, pure, and wholesome water, ample in volume and of suitable temperatures for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing, and cleaning, and to cleanse all waste receptacles and like means for the reception and speedy and complete removal from the premises of all fluid and semi-fluid organic wastes and other impurities incidental to life and the occupation of such premises.
Refrigeration and air-conditioning means to examine, specify, layout, install, and maintain devices, machinery, and all such pertinent and appropriate units and parts necessary to the operation and control and/or regulation of air temperatures in refrigerators, refrigerated rooms, and residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
Roofing, siding, insulation, and waterproofing means to examine surfaces and specify the preliminary and preparatory work necessary to bring such surfaces to a condition where, under an agreed specification, acceptable work can be executed and fabricated thereon with such materials or material as to seal, waterproof, and weatherproof such surfaces by such means in such manner as to prevent, hold, keep, and stop water, its derivatives, compounds, and solids from penetrating and passing any such protective material, membrane, roof, siding, surface, or seal, thereby gaining access to material or space beyond such weatherproof, waterproof, or watertight material, membrane, roof, siding, surface, or seal with the use of any or all of the following: asphaltum, pitch, tar, felt, flax, shakes, shingles, roof tile, slate, and any other material or materials or any combination of any thereof, that use and custom has established as usable for, or which material or materials are now used as, such waterproof, weatherproof, or watertight seal for such membranes, roofs, and surfaces, but shall not include. a contractor whose sole contracting business is the installation of devices or stripping for the internal control of external weather conditions. Insulation means to install any insulation media in buildings and structures for the sole purpose of temperature control, in such a manner that buildings and construction insulation can be executed and installed, but shall not include any work other than those processes solely incident to the installation of the insulation media. Waterproofmg means to select and apply solutions of rubber, latex, asphaltum, pitch, tar, or other material or materials, or any combination of any thereof, to surfaces to prevent, hold, keep, and stop water, its derivatives, compounds, and solids from penetrating and passing such materials, thereby gaining access to material or space beyond such waterproofing.
Sewer installation means to fabricate and lay cast-iron, steel, concrete, vitreous, and nonvitreous pipe which receives the discharge of the building drain at a point 3 feet beyond the outside wall of a building and conveys it to a public sewer, private sewer, or individual sewage disposal system, including the installation of septic tanks and cesspools and the appurtenances thereto, but sewer installation shall not include the work of a plumbing contractor or general engineering contractor as defined in this article.
(a) Sheet metal work means to layout, design,. fabricate, and install ducts, registers, air filters, humidity and thermostatic controls, ventilating systems complete with blowers, ducts, plenum chambers, and registers, with or without air filters and humidity and thermostatic controls, in such a manner that air-conditioning and ventilating systems can be executed and installed.
(b) Sheet metal work means, also, to select, cut, shape, fabricate, and install sheet metal such as cornices, flashings, gutters, leaders, rainwater downspouts, pans, kitchen equipment, duct work, metal flues, etc., or to do any part or any combination of any thereof. Licenses may be obtained for the sheet metal category only.
Steel reinforcing and erection means to fabricate, place, and tie steel reinforcing bard (rod) and to erect structural steel shapes and plates, of any profile, perimeter, or cross-section, that are or may be used to reinforce concrete or as structural members for buildings and structures, including riveting, welding, and rigging only in connection therewise, in such a manner that steel reinforcing and structural work can be fabricated and erected.
Stone masonry means to select, cut, and lay natural or artificial stone, either rough or cut-and-dressed stone, laid at random, with or without mortar, or to do any part or any combination of any thereof, in such a manner that, under an agreed specification, acceptable stone masonry can be executed, fabricated, and erected.
Structural tank work means to fabricate, place, and erect structures for the purpose of retaining liquids, solids, or gasses either above or below the ground, but shall not include the work of a general engineering contractor as defined in this article.
Welding means to use gases and electrical energy to create temperatures of sufficient heat to cause metals to become permanently affixed, attached, joined, and fabricated in such manner that welding can be executed.
Building contractors who engage the services of others as employees are required to have an employer identification number (EIN). Apply for such a number at the tax office.
(a) Samoan. Employers are required by law to withhold from wages of employees Samoan taxes in accordance with prescribed rates. Rates are obtainable from the tax office.
(b) Social Security. Employers are required to withhold from wages of employees social security taxes. Contractors shall contact the local Social Security office.
The social security laws which are applicable in American Samoa require employers to contribute toward the social security benefits of the employees. Rates of employer contributions are equal to rates of taxes withheld from employees. For more detailed explanation consult the local Social Security office.
All employers are required by law to file reports and pay taxes to the tax office on or before the last day of the month following the end of each quarter. The quarters end on 31 Mar, 30 Jun, 30 Sep, and 31 Dec. Employers registered with the tax office will be provided quarterly with the necessary reporting forms. Negative reports must be flied even though there has been no reportable activity.
For licensing purposes it is required that all back tax returns be flied and taxes which have not been paid to the government be paid in full.
Before obtaining or renewing a business license, any person, partnership, or corporation must first secure workmen's compensation insurance. This type of insurance provides for salary compensation or awards for employees who are injured on the job or while traveling between work and home.
The insurance may be obtained from any insurance carrier licensed to do business in the territory of American Samoa. The cost of the insurance is computed on the basis of the type of work or service to be performed and an estimate of the total annual payroll. The total cost of the insurance must be borne by the employer. The law prohibits any portion of the cost to be collected from or paid by the employees.
Failure to obtain the compensation insurance or comply with the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act may result in the revocation of the business-license or a severe fine.
More detailed information for employees and employers may be obtained from the workmen's compensation commission or any insurance carrier who handles compensation insurance.
No alien shall engage in any employment unless the immigration board has previously granted him entry permission for the purpose of the specific employment involved. An alien shall not work for any employer other than his sponsoring employer.
A sponsoring employer may be a U.S. national or an established business in American Samoa. Every alien who receives entry permission from the immigration board for the purpose of engaging in employment must be sponsored by his employer. The alien and his sponsoring employer shall be subject to all requirements, conditions, and duties of aliens and sponsors, respectively, provided in immigration rules, except that a sponsoring employer may be either a United States national or an established business in American Samoa.
No entry permission shall be granted for the purpose of employment unless the sponsoring employer satisfies the immigration board that it is not possible to recruit a qualified American Samoan for the position involved and that reasonable steps are being taken by the sponsoring employer for the eventual replacement of the alien employee by an American Samoan.
This chapter shall not apply to:
(1) An officer or employee of the United States, the state, or any political subdivision if the project or operation is performed by employees thereof;
(2) Any person acting as a receiver. trustee in bankruptcy, personal representative, or any other person acting under any or authorization of any court;
(3) A person who sells or installs any finished products, materials, or articles of merchandise which are not actually fabricated into and do not become a permanent fixed part of the structure, or to the construction, alteration, improvement, or repair of personal property;
(4) Officers of a court acting in their official capacity;
(5) Regulated public utilities performing construction work incidental to their business;
(6) Any project or operation for which the aggregate contract price for labor, materials, and all other items is less than $100. This exemption shall not apply in any case wherein the undertaking is only a part of a larger or major project or operation, whether undertaken by the same or a different contractor or in which a division of the project or operation is made in contracts of amounts less than $100 for the purpose of evading this chapter or otherwise;
(7) A registered architect or professional engineer acting solely in his professional capacity;
(8) Any person who engages in the activities herein regulated as an employee with wages as his sole compensation;
(9) Owners or lessees of property who build or improve residential, farm, industrial or commercial building or structures on such property for their own use, or for use by them and the work is perforn1ed by the owner and/or grandparents, parents, siblings, or children and do not offer such buildings or structures for sale or lease. In all actions brought under this paragraph, proof of the sale or lease, or offering for sale or lease, of such structure within one year after completion is prima facie evidence that the construction or improvement of such structure was undertaken for the purpose of sale or lease; provided, however, that this shall not apply to residential properties sold or leased to employees of the owner or lessee;
(10) Any copartnership or joint venture if all members thereof hold licenses issued under this chapter.