From Mugabe to Tuilaepa, what is really hurting Samoa

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Dear Editor,

Re: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”. Matthew 22:21.

Section 40 of the Audit Act 2013 (Samoa) requires audits every year. Section 42 of the Act says these are to become public documents.

This is not happening in Samoa, as borrowing grows and where the money goes, nobody but Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi knows.

This is destroying any possibility of economic progress, as the agenda of the Human Rights Protection Party is plunder not the good of all citizens.

40. Audit reports of public bodies-(1) The Controller and Auditor General must, in each year, prepare and submit to the Speaker an audit report of any audit of public bodies, related entities or audited subsidiaries of public bodies conducted under this Act or any Act or law.

 (2) The Controller may include in the audit report under subsection (1):

 (a) a list of public bodies, related entities or subsidiaries of public bodies that are not audited by the Controller for that particular year; and

 (b) any deficiency or function that is not properly performed under generally accepted accounting principles and practices which the Controller considers to be significant; and

 (c) any significant change in the Controller’s auditing approach from the previous year’s audit.

 (3) The Controller must:

 (a) notify the Prime Minister and the relevant Minister responsible of the contents of the audit report; and

 (b) invite the, public body, related entity or subsidiary, statutory or local authority or other body to whom the audit report relates to make submissions or comments on the content of the audit report before a specified date; and

 (c) within sixty days from the date to be specified in paragraph 

(b), forward the audit report with any comment received to the Speaker who must present it to the Legislative Assembly under section 42.

 

42. Tabling of audit reports-

 (1) Upon receipt of an audit, the Speaker must present the audit report to the Legislative Assembly under its Standing Orders.

 (2) An audit report:

 (a) is a confidential document; and

 (b) becomes a public document on the date it is tabled in the Legislative Assembly pursuant to its Standing Orders.

 (3) A person who discloses to another person an audit report or part of the audit report of the Controller before it becomes a public document commits an offence.

 (4) Subsection (3) does not apply to disclosure of the audit report authorised under this Act or any other Act or law.

The theologian and Trappist monk Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915–December 10, 1968) says: “It is now the most vitally important thing for all of us, however we may be concerned with our society, to try to arrive at a clear, cogent statement of our ills, so that we may begin to correct them. Otherwise, our efforts will be directed to purely superficial symptoms only, and perhaps not even at things related directly to the illness. On the contrary, it seems that our remedies are instinctively those which aggravate the sickness: the remedies are expressions of the sickness itself.

I would almost dare to say that the sickness is perhaps a very real and very dreadful hatred of life as such, of course subconscious, buried under our pitiful and superficial optimism about ourselves and our affluent society. 

But I think that the very thought processes of materialistic affluence (and here the same things are found in all the different economic systems that seek affluence for its own sake) are ultimately self-defeating. 

They contain so many built-in frustrations that they inevitably lead us to despair in the midst of “plenty” and “happiness” and the awful fruit of this despair is indiscriminate, irresponsible destructiveness, hatred of life, carried on in the name of life itself. In order to “survive” we instinctively destroy that on which our survival depends.”

Samoa’s professional classes’ integrity is called into question. Where are the guardians of the law and the accountants of the nation? The lack of accountability is destroying the lives of the people?

 

F.S.M. Taua

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