DIRECTORS OFFICE OVERVIEW
The Dept. of Administrative Services appears to have been formalized as the Government Treasury by the Dept. of the Interior circa 1951. Prior to that time, from about 1900 – 1951, the government
administration functions were under the local Island Government, which in turn had originated from the U.S. Naval Administration's office of the Secretary of Native Affairs. In the early part of the twentieth century, the local Island Government Treasurer was therefore responsible for managing Finances, a Customs Division, Land Transportation, Public Works, Government Commerce, a Laundry and a Print Shop. By 1952, the Treasurer was also known as the Director of Adm. Services, and was responsible for Procurement, Communications, Commerce, Security, Maintenance, Mail and Printshop divisions. These multiple service roles continued during several reorganizations in the 1960s, which included the addition of a Materials Management Div. and, the Territorial Registrars Office. By the start of the local electorate in 1978, the dual Treasurer – Director of Adm. Services position also became responsible for the first Computerized Payroll division, an Information Systems division and a Records Management Microfilming division.
In 1986, the Governor A.P. Lutali electorate reorganized the island government and created a separate Treasury, a separate Dept. of Adm. Services, and a separate Procurement Dept. The Dept. of Adm. Services thereupon became solely responsible for the Archives and Records Office, the Printshop, Mailroom, and Security-Maintenance. By 1989 a USDA Meat Inspection Division was added and the Information Systems was transferred to the Treasury. The Housing Division was added somethime around 1989 during a Governor Peter Coleman electorate. The Dept. of Administrative Services Office has therefore managed several changing divisions during it's long history of serving the people of American Samoa.
In summary, Administrative Services was established during the initial direct Dept. of Interior administrations of 1951-1977. The first Directors were federal contract workers employed from the United States. The first locally hired American Samoan Directors date from 1978, during American Samoa's first electorate. The position became political soon afterwards, requiring Governor nominees to be confirmed by the Legislature of American Samoa. Over the years the Department's duties and responsibilities have been as the Treasury, the Commerce Dept, the Territorial Registrar and the Vital Statistics Office. Pending 2021, the Dept. of Administrative Services comprises 6 Divisions: The Director's Office, the Printshop, the Housing Division, the Mailroom, Security-Maintenance, and the Office of Archives and Records Management.
Pictured here are some of the Directors from recent years, LR: Chief Simona Lauti, Chief Malaepule Saena, Chief Le'i Thompson and High Chief Malemo Tausaga.