The new Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, has resigned from his previous role with a leading financial management consultancy firm in Samoa to take up his new job.
“I’ve resigned from the company,” Sili told the Sunday Samoan.
“I had always meant to resign. It’s for good governance that I do so I don’t have any conflict of interest…
“I resigned the day I was sworn in and never appointed people in the position I was in.”
Prior to being elected the Member of Parliament for Fa’asaleleaga East No. 1 and consequently his appointment as the Finance Minister, Sili was with Kolone and Vaai Associates Consults (K.V.A).
According to its website, K.V.A Consult Ltd specialises in financial management and economic and public policy advice. The Sunday Samoan understands that the company does a lot of consultancy work for the government.
The website also identifies Sili as a co-owner.
“KVAConsult Ltd, an ISO 9001:2008 certified consultancy company based in the Pacific, consists of skilled, experienced and dependable consultants who provide expert financial management, economic and public policy advice,” the website reads.
“Established in 1990 as Kolone Vaai & Associates, the company was restructured in 2000 to become the present firm co-owned by former Financial Secretaries for the Government of Samoa, Kolone Vaai and Epa Tuioti.
“Epa is an economist, institutional and good governance expert with extensive leadership experience in public sector reforms and various national and regional consultancies for both the public and private sectors. Former Financial Secretary to the Government of Samoa (1991-1999).
“Epa was the Team Leader for the Review of the Pacific Islands Centre (PIC), Tokyo, Japan and the Pacific Islands Forum Trade Office (PIFTO) in Beijing, China; Co-Team Leader/Institutional Reform Expert in the Samoa Public Works Institutional Reform and Asset Management Services (PIRAMS) Project funded by the World Bank; and team member for the Joint Review of the Australian Aid Programme to Papua New Guinea.
“Prior to his role as Financial Secretary, Epa had a successful career in the Office of the Executive Director for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila and is a former President of the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Epa is an Executive Board Member and former Deputy Chairman of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO).”
When Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi appointed Sili to the role of Minister of Finance, he received widespread support from the community saying he was the most obvious choice for the role.