C.E.O.’s absence irks Minister

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali'itele Niko Lee Hang.

Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali'itele Niko Lee Hang. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The Minister of Works, Transportation and Infrastructure (M.W.T.I.), Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, has expressed disappointment with the Chief Executive Officer of M.W.T.I., Su’a Pou Onesemo.

His unhappiness stems from Su’a’s decision to leave the country without notifying him as the Minister last weekend.

The Sunday Samoan had requested an interview with Papali’i on another matter. 

It was then that the Minister revealed the C.E.O. had left the country during the weekend of the Independence celebration.

 “I am very disappointed that he left over the weekend without going through the proper process before any C.E.O. departs the island,” said the Minister. 

“I thought he was in Samoa and then I had someone called me that he was overseas. It surprised me because I never authorized any trip.

“I am really upset because it shows the C.E.O. does not respect the Minister; who doesn’t care about the Minister; he just goes without even telling the Minister.”

Immigration confirmed that the C.E.O. departed on Saturday and returned to Samoa last Tuesday.

Su’a, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer, said he did go through the process. 

“I will have to talk to the Minister too. What he said that’s his prerogative and I agree with him at times that does happen.

“And I cannot say anything further about it, the Minister has spoken,” said Su’a.

In the meantime, Papali’i told the Samoa Observer he would pursue this matter.

“I will consult with the Public Service Commission to determine as to what disciplinary action to take and even if it comes down to suspension, we will take that route. 

“He should know better than to just up and leave the country without proper approval. Someone should have been appointed as Acting C.E.O. while he was away. 

“Furthermore, he should set an example to his subordinates. They go to him seeking leave and he’s the one who approves them, so to just up and leave is unacceptable behaviour coming from a leader in the Ministry.”

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