Cabinet revokes appointment of S.I.F.A. Chief Executive Officer

Cabinet has revoked the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa International Finance Authority (S.I.F.A.), To’oto’oleaava Dr. Fanaafi Aiono-Le Tagaloa.

Confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, the decision clashes with the recommendation by a Selection Committee for To’oto’oleaava to continue as the Chief Executive officer.

As of today, the position will soon be re-advertised.

“Cabinet has officially terminated [her services] and she has been officially advised yesterday [Thursday],” Sili said.

The Minister, who is also responsible for S.I.F.A., could not divulge the reasons behind Cabinet’s decision, which was made on Wednesday.

 “That is between Cabinet, and the Board [of Directors] and the C.E.O," he said.

 “She has been advised in writing and the Board is to re-advertise [the position].”

The Minister rejected suggestions it was it unfair that Cabinet's reasons for the decision against the C.E.O. are not made public.

 “I don’t think [that view will be shared by anyone] other than the Observer and a few others," he said.  “It is Cabinet’s business.”

Told that the position held by the C.E.O. is a public office funded by taxpayers, Sili points out there are regulations to govern Cabinet’s decision.

He did not specify the regulations.

The decision by Cabinet comes several days after To’oto’oleaava told the Samoa Observer that matters relating to the position were being handled by Cabinet.

Contacted again on Friday, she confirmed that on Thursday 3rd October, a letter from the Office of the Minister of Finance was delivered to her at the S.I.F.A. Office.

The letter was titled, “Notice of Revocation of your Appointment as the Interim Chief Executive Officer, Samoa International Finance Authority (“SIFA”).”

To’oto’o read from paragraph 2 and 3 of the letter:

 “2. At its meeting yesterday, Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, Cabinet reconfirmed and reaffirmed its decision to reject the recommendation of the Selection Committee, to reappoint you as the Chief Executive Officer of S.I.F.A.

 “3. The Cabinet has resolved that the Chief Executive position for S.I.F.A. be re-advertised and your appointment as Chief Executive Officer will expire at 5 pm, Friday 4th October 2019.”

In addition, the C.E.O. was asked again if she had anything to say about the decision from Cabinet and comments from the Minister.

Her response was, “I believe the excerpt from the letter speaks for itself. And the salient aspects of the letter in relation to your queries have been provided.”

On September 16, a warrant of appointment allowed To’oto’o to be appointed on a temporary basis to act as Interim C.E.O. for S.I.F.A until the day the appointment of the C.E.O. is made.

The Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Sualauvi Va’aletoa II, signed the warrant.

The events of this week follow the advertisement of the position of the S.I.F.A C.E.O. in April this year.

 To’oto’o was appointed as C.E.O. in June 2016 for a term of three years.

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