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Minister warns top bureaucrats against vehicle abuse

A senior Cabinet Minister has warned Chief Executive Officers of state-owned agencies under his portfolio not to abuse their vehicle privileges.

The Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, told his chief executive officers that they will be held responsible for any abuse of vehicles.

He said the warning targeting the chief executive officers should compel them to act to cut back on the abuse of Government-owned assets.

“We meet with the C.E.O. over many issues and this is one of the predicaments faced by the Ministries," he said. 

"I always emphasise the need to curb abuse of Government assets and it appears it’s not working. I see the Government vehicles on the road without the authorisation sticker."

Vehicles found on the road after hours and over the weekends will be targeted in the crackdown, Papali’i added. 

“And now I will start pulling over the vehicles, remove the keys and have the C.E.O. justify why these Government vehicles are running around after hours and on the weekends.  

“The C.E.O. will be held responsible for the vehicles under their Ministries, once its caught on the road without proper authorization,” warned Papali’i.

The Ministries under his portfolio include Samoa Water Authority; Electric Power Corporation; Samoa Ports Authority; Samoa Airport Authority; Samoa Shipping Corporation; Samoa Land Transport Authority and Samoa Shipping Services. 

The crackdown comes after the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.) appealed to the public early this year to report reckless drivers using corporation-owned vehicles.

The Corporation’s General Manager, Tologata Tile Tuimaleali'ifano, urged the public to report any of their vehicles that are seen to be speeding and driven by irresponsible drivers.  

“The initiative is to minimise the abuse of Government assets,” Tologata told the Samoa Observer.

The corporation had also posted a public notice on its official Facebook page yesterday.

 “The public is hereby advised to report to the Electric Power Corporation any of our vehicles that are speeding on the road. The following information must be reported: vehicle plate number, location, date, time, type of vehicle and your contact details,” stated the notice. 

Tologata said Government assets including those owned by his organisation should be well taken care of. 

“These are public properties and it should be well taken care of, hence the move by the corporation.” 

When he was asked what compelled him to make the appeal, he said they have had no reports of reckless driving, but that form of monitoring isn’t always effective. 

“There have been no reports from the public of E.P.C. vehicle over speeding and reckless driving and that we have speed tracking on the vehicles, however, it does not always work hence the call to the public,” he added. 


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