I admire the Minister for giving unbiased advice to the P.M.

Dear Editor,

Re: $121,000 contract should’ve been tendered, Minister says

At times, we, the ordinary folks on the street, have pointed the accusatory finger at the government for engaging in conduct unbecoming. 

Most of these accusations have been levelled at the PM.

The question here is this: where does the buck stop in a Westminster type of government of which Samoa is an example. Is it the Minister or should it be the PM who is ultimately responsible for awarding the sole source contract to the previous LTA CEO?

It appears from the article that the PM thinks that the buck stops with him, and as a mitigation strategy, wanted to cancel the contract. 

The Minister on the other hand, thinks the buck stops with the CEO since he wasn’t informed of her decision not to go out to tender. 

Therefore responsibility and the consequences of the contract award are on her.

I am going to be a wimp and sit on the fence on this issue. 

Except to say that I admire the Minister for advising the PM that it is too late to do anything about the contract as it has been signed. 

Other laui’as in the government, in similar positions, would have caved in without a murmur and follow what the PM wants instead of offering well researched advice which might turn out to be contrary to what the PM is seeking. That is why you laui’as are paid handsome salaries and perks - to offer unbiased and impartial advice.

Is this the case with the Attorney General updating his departmental files on Malietau four years after the termination of his services?

As for the LTA CEO, my humble advice to you is this. In any future LTA procurement process, you need to apply the ‘ordinary man in the street’ test, which is, what would an ordinary person in the makeki, like me, think of your decision. 

You don’t have to be an engineering wizard, of whatever specialisation, to know that if the result does not pass the test, then it is probably a contract you need to reconsider. Ma lo’u fa’aaloalo lava


Vai Autu 

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