Former C.E.O. walks away from $121,000 six-month contract
The former Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) Chief Executive Officer, Leasi John Galuvao, has refused to take up a controversial $121,000 six-month contract.
The contract was awarded to him by the L.T.A. Board and the Chief Executive Officer, Galumalemana Ta'atialeoitiiti A. Tutuvanu-Schwalger.
Leasi, who is currently in New Zealand, refused to confirm if he had decided not to honor the contract when contacted by the Samoa Observer.
“I have no comment, please contact the L.T.A. Chief Executive
Officer,” he said.
Galumalemana, when contacted by this newspaper, couldn’t confirm or deny her predecessor’s exit.
“At this point in time, I can neither confirm nor deny therefore I have no comment,” she said.
An L.T.A. Board member, who didn’t want to be identified, confirmed that Leasi will not take on the job as a consultant with the authority.
The contract was awarded on February 15, 2018 and is for Leasi’s consultancy for road works and major projects such as the reconstruction of the Vaisigano Bridge and the upgrading of the west coast road.
At the time when this newspaper broke the story, Galumalemana rubbished claims that there was “favoritism” in the hiring of her former boss as a consultant.
She told this newspaper that his hiring was important, due to a significant number of urgent road works that the Authority is implementing as the organisation currently has capacity issues.
Leasi served as the CEO for the L.T.A. for three consecutive terms, before Galumalemana was appointed his successor last year. He did not reapply for the position of CEO after his exit from the organisation.
Even the Minister for Land Transport Authority, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, questioned the $121,000 six-month contract. He said the contract should have been put out on public tender and the L.T.A. Board and the CEO bypassed procurement processes by awarding it to Leasi.
Papali’i said he wasn’t aware of the decision at that time and the contract had only been brought to his attention, after it was already signed and went before Cabinet for discussion.
“So the Prime Minister wanted me to ask the Attorney General of a way to have it cancelled. But to me it is already signed and both parties have agreed. It would be another civil case at Court for us,” he said.