The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, yesterday emphasised the important role state owned enterprises play in maximising profits for the Government.
Lautafi also called for better management of assets, management of finance and the management of human resources.
“If you are spending a lot of money on buying assets you don’t need then there’s not going to be any returns on the investment,” he said.
“If you are mismanaging assets then you are going to have to spend a lot of money to maintain it. So good management of all aspects of businesses is required by Government for you all.”
The Minister made the point during a gathering for Directors, Chairpersons and Members of Government Boards at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.
The occasion also saw the presentation of certificates to Directors who successfully completed the professional programme for Directors (see story page 5).
Speaking about public beneficiaries’ bodies, he said their objective is to operate efficiently, effectively and to provide quality service to the public.
“The effectiveness and efficiency is measured not only by the quality of the service that they provide, but also by the level of dependency to the budget of Government,” Lautafi said.
“So if you are one of these, and you are relying on Government every day, every year, then maybe it’s time to relook at some of your operations.”
Some of the public beneficiaries bodies include N.H.S. which will merge with the Ministry of Health, National Kidney Foundation, National University of Samoa, Samoa Tourism Authority and others.
Lautafi highlighted the importance of operating successfully, effectively and efficiently as a business.
“Not only trading bodies. That is the underlying message and requirement for all public bodies. Like any other business, they exist to excel, prosper, maximise returns to its shareholders,” he said.
“There will be some who will not always be able to make financial returns because of the nature of the business that they are in, however it does not exclude them from running their business as effectively and efficiently as mandated by Government.
The Minister also highlighted that his Ministry is responsible for monitoring the 28 public bodies in accordance with the requirements of the Public Bodies Act.
“The ministry is to ensure the public bodies deliver services that are of high standard and efficient to the public and provide and economic and social return on Government investment in your operations, that is very critical, and every board member, every chairman, and management should be aware of that,” Lautafi said.
“Public bodies are divided into three categories, public trading bodies – operate successful businesses, to be as profitable and efficient as comparable to businesses that are not owned by the Government, and there are 16 public training bodies including Development Bank of Samoa, Polynesian Airline etc.
“Mutual bodies and these include National Provident Fund., Accident Compensation Corporation etc. These bodies are owned by its contributors and are mandated to run effective and profitable business to maximise returns for the contributors.”