Minister takes C.E.O. to task over payment

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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E.P.C. Chief Executive Officer Tologata Tile Tuimaleali'ifano (Inset) and Minister of Works, Transportation and Infrastructure Papali’i Niko Lee Hang.

E.P.C. Chief Executive Officer Tologata Tile Tuimaleali'ifano (Inset) and Minister of Works, Transportation and Infrastructure Papali’i Niko Lee Hang. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, has expressed concerns about the handling of an electrocution case by the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.).

He expressed concerns about what he said as the lack of transparency regarding $20,000 paid to the family of an eight-year-old boy who was allegedly electrocuted from a faulty electrical wire earlier this year. 

Asked whether E.P.C. have settled the case with the family of the boy, Papali’i was unaware of the case. 

The incident in question occurred at Tuaefu. 

E.P.C's C.E.O., Tologata Tile Tuimaleali'ifano had told the Samoa Observer that negotiations are in progress for a settlement but the E.P.C. Board had agreed to pay $20,000 to assist the family with funeral purposes.

But Papali’i said Cabinet should be kept abreast of any form of payments in such cases. 

“I don’t know because up until now, I am unaware of any payment made," he told the Samoa Observer. 

“But my understanding is that these cases should still be reported to me so I can report to Cabinet and I don’t have to tell him what to do. 

“That is his responsibility to notify the Government of such accidents because if there are any huge settlements at least Cabinet was informed beforehand. 

“This is just irresponsible on the C.E.O.  The C.E.O. is failing to do that and again no matter how hectic the daily schedule is, there are certain information that should be relayed for Cabinet’s understanding."

Asked for a comment, the C.E.O. told the Samoa Observer that he was unaware the Minister was not informed. 

“I will get to that right away,” said Tologata. 

Asked for an update on the status of the settlement, Tologata confirmed that negotiations are continuing with the family of the boy and they have not paid any more money other than the $20,000. 

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