“Managing confidentiality minor challenge”

A Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (M.P.M.C.) annual report says managing the security and confidentiality of records at the Office of the Head of State is a “minor challenge”.

According to the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (M.P.M.C.) annual report for financial year 2016-2017, the management of the official records of the Office of the Head of State is important, but is a “minor challenge” as steps have been taken to put in place an internal control mechanism to safeguard official information.

“To address this issue, the Office had set out internal controls to manage the confidentiality of information, such as limiting staff access to confidential information, and those records are locked in cabinets and offices with clear labels and marked as confidential."

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“Keeping confidential electronic information and records in password-protected database, and routinely reminding staff that confidential documents should never be left on desks and that confidential information should never be discussed in public.” 

According to the annual report, the functions of the Office of the Head of State focuses mainly on three priority areas: timely execution of the Head of State’s constitutional responsibilities; providing efficient, professional and responsive administrative and secretarial support services to the Head of State; and maintenance and improvement in the management of divisional assets. 

Some of the achievements highlighted in the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet annual report, include the Ministry exceeding its revenue collection target for the financial year by collecting $5.35 million from its Immigration services and the Savali newspaper, compared to $4.81 million the previous year. 

Furthermore, the Immigration Division that was housed at the Lober building at Savalalo for many years, was relocated to the Government executive building joining the rest of the Ministry. 

“Of further significance, the Ministry also opened its office in Savai’i at the Salelologa market on July 28, 2016 primarily offering immigration services, and availing the Savali newspaper for the convenience of the Savaiian public that no longer have to travel all the way to Apia for these services.”

Other achievements include the separation of the policy unit from the Cabinet Secretariat Division, the merging of the Press Secretariat Unit and Savali Newspaper Unit as one division.

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