Olo responds to challenge on corruption evidence
Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, has urged the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi to check reports from the Auditor General and the Audit Office during the past 10 years for evidence of Government corruption.
In these reports, Olo said there are many instances of corrupt practices highlighted not just by the Auditor General, Fuimaono Camillo Afele, they have also been investigated by the Officers of Parliament Committee.
Olo was responding to the challenge by Prime Minister Tuilaepa for proof of an allegation of corruption within the Government he made in Parliament last week.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, the Salega East M.P. said the reports produced by the Audit Office have uncovered illegal payouts to Chief Executive Officers, gifts valued at $25,000 being given to a Minister and board members, and the illegal use of Government funds for staff funeral and weddings which date back to 2015.
“This includes the illegal payouts to Chief Executive Officers, $25,000 worth of Christmas gifts to a Minister and board member, and Government funds used for employees’ funeral, weddings,” Olo said.
“The key words are ‘government funds’.
“When I consider all these actions, it is corrupt, that is what’s happening in the Government.
“What more proof does the Prime Minister want?
“The Auditors have submitted their reports – despite the fact the reports are from 2015 – the Government must still hold these CEO’s accountable for their actions.”
The failure by the Government to fill key positions within the bureaucracy also came under scrutiny.
Olo pointing out that Ministries continue to submit request for the funding of the positions in the budget, despite the jobs not been filled.
“And then at the end of the financial year – divert it to purchase cars, computers, and other office necessities – yet these funds were legally allocated for to pay for the position. There is no way around it – this to me is corruption and illegal,” he added.
The use of public funds before approval by the Parliament, added the M.P., is another area of concern.
“While I am all for the pay rise in Government, it is long overdue.
“However, the rise was in effect on January 1, 2019 – yet the supplementary budget bill was only approved last week – yet the raise was included in this budget.
“That to me is illegal and should not be allowed under any circumstances.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa strongly denied the allegation.