Senator Fonoti Tafaifa Aufata has asked that the Fono attorney provide reports concerning the nominee for Director of Human and Social Services Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona , before her committee schedules a confirmation hearing.
The Tuala-uta senator stated at today’s Senate session she wants the Fono counsel to conduct a full review of the director nominee for this department.
She said she wants to know what is happening with the director and the staff, but did not elaborate.
Fonoti has yet to schedule a confirmation hearing for Taeaoafua who has been selected for a second term as head of DHSS.
But her request may amount to just that.
Senate President Gaoteote Palaie didn’t see a reason to obtain reports for confirmation hearings.
He said that the hearings should look at the candidates’ qualifications and experience for the positions they are nominated for.
According to the Senate leader, the requsted reports are not necessary for confirmation hearings.
He asked that senators “approve the directors to make things easier.”
Senator Tuaolo Fruean chimed in that senators should not hasten their review of directors just because of the planned trip by the governor and directors to the mainland.
He said it’s best to thoroughly review the appointees instead of a speedy and incomplete scrutiny.
Though he had just said to pass the directors, the Senate President agreed with Tuaolo’s statement and urged that senators refrain from a common pattern of past confirmation hearings where motions are made to confirm the directors without much questioning.
Then later on senators complain about the directors not performing up to par.
The Senate begins confirmation hearings tomorrow.
First up is Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale at 8:30 am morning before the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Senator Nuanuaolefeagiaga Saoluaga Nua.
The Treasurer Ueligitone Tonumaipea has his confirmation hearing at 8:30 Thursday before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Senator Magalei Logovii.
After the Senate Session at 11 the same day is the confirmation hearing for Taimalelalgi Dr. Claire Poumnele as Port Director, before the Senate Transportation Committee chaired by Paepae Joe Fiaui.
The two director nominees with confirmation hearings on Friday are Le’i Sonny Thompson as Commissioner of Public Safety, at 8:30 am and Catherine Saelua as Budget Director at 10am.