Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has blasted lawyers working for different Government bodies, saying they spend too much time doing “personal affairs.”
In a letter to Ministers of Cabinet leaked to the Samoa Observer, P.M. Tuilaepa accuses the lawyers of being overpaid and underworking.
“Today, many lawyers in Ministries and Corporations do not own up,” Tuilaepa writes. “Why? High pay and excess time to do personal affairs are more important now than it used to be.”
Dated 3 April 2018, the letter from the Prime Minister, written in a mixture of Samoan and English, is to remind all Government bodies about the critical role of the Attorney General’s Office.
The Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Aiono Mose Su’a, is copied.
“There is the Attorney General who can carry out all the legal work for Government Ministries and Corporations,” a translation of the letter reads.
“I’ve been advised by the Attorney General that most legal matters are brought back to his Office to be resolved.”
Tuilaepa added that Corporations and Government bodies cannot keep their lawyers and legal officers busy for eight hours a day.
This will only cost the Government more money, which is unnecessary, the Prime Minister said.
In moving forward, the Prime Minister urges Cabinet Ministers to inform the Corporations and Ministries to liaise with the Office of the Attorney General whether they need to hire a permanent lawyer.
He said most of the work could be easily done by the Office of the Attorney General.
Lastly, Tuilaepa had a go at the Development Bank of Samoa over the matter.
“It is the Development Bank of Samoa who started this stupid practice of having their own lawyer in 1976, some 42 years ago and now everyone is following suit,” Tuilaepa writes.
“This lawyer resigned after the first year of doing very little in the D.B.S because they couldn’t fully utilize his skills as a lawyer given the small scope of the work.
“He became knowledgeable after one whole year of doing very little. Today, many lawyers in Ministries and Corporations do not own up. Why? High pay and excess time to do personal affairs are more important now than it used to be.”
Attempts to get a comment from Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff, about the letter were not successful.
Questions emailed to him were not responded to at press time.
The letter in Samoan is below:
3 Aperila 2018
Minisita o le Kapeneta
Fa’alapotopotoga uma a le Malo
1. O lo’o i ai le Loia Sili e mafai ona fa’atino uma galuega fa’aloia a Matagaluega ma Corporations o le Malo. O lo’o fautua mai ai pea le Loia Sili e toe o’o atu lava le tele o matā’upu e fofō e le Ofisa o le Loia Sili.
2. E lē o mafai e Corporations ona fa’aaoga tatau loia ma fa’apisi i le 8 itula o le aso. O le mea e tupu na o le atili ai ona taugata i le Malo le faiga lea e tapā pea e Corporations ia Loia mo latou galuega. E lelei ona feso’ota’i outou uma ma le Loia Sili ina ia tau fa’atonutonu tatau ai le toe fa’afaigaluega pea o ni Loia – o galuega e faigofie ona fai e le Ofisa o le Loia Sili.
3. O le DBS na mua’i faia le faiga valea lea o le fai o le latou lava loia i le 1976 – 42 tausaga talu ai lea ua fa’ata’ita’i i ai le to’atele i le taimi nei. Na toe fa’amavae le ali’i loia after the first year of doing very little in the DBS ona “ ele mafai ona fa’aaoga atoa lona loia” i ni galuega pumo’omo’o tele. He became knowledgeable after one whole year of doing very little. Today, many lawyers in Ministries and Corporations do not own up. Why? High pay and excess time to do personal affairs are more important now than it used to be.
Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi
kopi: Ta’ita’ifono, Komisi o Galuega a le Malo