Samoa partners with Tonga Ombudsman

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(From left front row: Maiava Iulai Toma (Ombudsman Samoa), Linda Folaumoetui (C.E.O. Tonga Ombudsman, Maualaivao P. Seiuli (Deputy Ombudsman Samoa). From left second row, Roman Vaihu, Loukinikini Vili, Mo’onia Taufa and Fuimaono Vaiao Eteuati.

(From left front row: Maiava Iulai Toma (Ombudsman Samoa), Linda Folaumoetui (C.E.O. Tonga Ombudsman, Maualaivao P. Seiuli (Deputy Ombudsman Samoa). From left second row, Roman Vaihu, Loukinikini Vili, Mo’onia Taufa and Fuimaono Vaiao Eteuati.

Samoa and Tonga may not see eye to eye on the rugby league level but they certainly share common goals and commitment to good governance and addressing systemic failings in the work of the government bodies in their jurisdictions to bolster accountability and transparency in the administration as well as fairness for its people.  

This week, the Ombudsman’s Office host special guests, a delegation from the Tonga Ombudsman Office led by its Chief Executive Officer, Linda Folaumoetui, on a one week attachment supported and funded under the Flexi Funding Programme administered by the Office Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Upon arrival C.E.O. remarked: “We are very pleased with the opportunity to be able to come over to Samoa to make connections and further our relationship with the Ombudsman Office here and share ways we can learn and strengthen each other’s work and responsibilities to our citizens.”   

This is the Tonga Ombudsman staffs first official visit to Samoa since the Office was formally constituted in December 2001 as the Ombudsman Office of Tonga which was formerly known as Office of Public Relations Tonga. 

Delegation and Staff with Assistant Commissioner of Prison Services, Ulugia Niuia Aumua.
Delegation and Staff with Assistant Commissioner of Prison Services, Ulugia Niuia Aumua.

 “I am delighted with the Tongan delegation to Samoa,” said Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma.

“Not only will we learn from each other’s good practices in its Governance work but also an opportunity for them to see something of my Office’s other mandates that maybe of interest to them such as the Special Investigations Unit and Human Rights.”

The three delegates will return at the end of this week. 

They will spend their week in each of the divisions within the Ombudsman Office with the opportunity also to observe the Office’s prison inspections work and meet villagers of Vavau village during the Office’s awareness and education programme.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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