Last Thursday, the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi took time out from his busy schedule of attending Parliamentary proceedings, to speak to a gathering of more than 80 board directors at a luncheon seminar hosted by the Institute of Directors.
In his Keynote Address, he said that “Accountability must always be a top priority of the board as it works to ensure that state companies and corporations achieve their annual targets as specified in corporate plans. “This is crucial to government planning given that they exist to provide much-needed public services and to assist government meet its development goals.”
In addition, he emphasized that “directors need to be transparent in their work by ensuring that the process entities use, is clear to all stakeholders and that complaints are dealt with effectively and promptly.”
In drawing the attention of the directors to issues of ‘prudent leadership’ and ‘conflicts of interest’, the Prime Minister focused on how the aforementioned issues remain a challenge to progress in Samoa and in moving the corporations forward in a positive manner. “Demonstrating prudent leadership guarantees that the board at all times, makes its decisions in the best interests of the organization, and not the interests of the board members, the CEO, colleagues or their relatives.”
“Directors need to avoid being part of board decisions involving close relations as this negatively impacts operations, creates disharmony amongst staff and hinders progress.”
The Prime Minister spoke at length of the need for Chief Executive Officers of respective corporations involved in major infrastructure projects, to work proactively to progress projects already approved by government but yet to be implemented due to delays of various sorts. He noted that issues contributing to delays in implementation of projects disadvantage the public, and solutions, if not available locally, must promptly be sought from overseas partners where and when required.
The luncheon seminar was hosted by the Institute at Hotel Millenia, Tiafau to commence its activities for 2016. It is part of its Professional Development Programme (P.D.P.) to enhance skills of current and newly-appointed directors to assist them in the effective performance of their duties.