Sacked C.E.O. wants an explanation

The former Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Afamasaga Pou Onesemo, has broken his silence about his sacking by the Government.

Speaking to the Weekend Observer yesterday, Afamasaga said his lawyer, Fepulea’i Patrick Fepulea’i, has written to the Public Service Commission to seek an explanation.

“We received the termination letter but to date we don’t know why? We have not been given any grounds for the termination,” Afamasaga said.

 “And so we are waiting on (P.S.C. to provide) the grounds of termination.

 “Once we receive the grounds, only then we will determine what our next move will be.”

Afamasaga declined to comment further.

The contract for the former Chief Executive Officer was terminated two weeks ago by Cabinet based on the recommendation by the P.S.C. citing a “breach of contract.” 

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In June this year, Afamasaga was placed on suspension to allow the Police and the P.S.C. to investigate allegations of impropriety levelled at the former C.E.O. by a former Member of Parliament of the Government of India, Sh.P.K. Bansal and his company Ascent Navals. 

Afamasaga strongly rejected the allegations.

In the same month the P.S.C. filed charges against Afamasaga which included alleged misuse of authority, breach of contract, failing to disclose alleged conflict of interest and the alleged breaching of the values of honesty and impartial manner.

In announcing the decision, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said Cabinet acted on the recommendation from the P.S.C.

“We have validated the recommendation submitted by the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) yesterday (Wednesday) after their lengthy and thorough investigation into allegations leveled against the C.E.O,” Tuilaepa said.  

“We decided to terminate his employment contract following the recommendation.”

Tuilaepa told the Samoa Observer the former C.E.O. was also given the opportunity to respond to the charges. 

 “The decision by the P.S.C Commissioner follows results that he breached his contract and breached values of honesty; hence the decision by the P.S.C. to terminate his contract. 

“It was a comprehensive investigation.”

It was not possible to get a comment from the P.S.C yesterday.

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