Top cop issues Govt. vehicles directive
Police Commissioner, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, has issued a directive to all “members of the Samoa Police Service” to enforce the ban on Government vehicles being driven after-hours.
The directive instructs the Police to immediately impound government vehicles driven after-hours without the “authorised vehicle” sticker.
The sticker indicates that the Ministry has authorised the vehicle to be used between 5pm and 9am.
In the directive, the Commissioner spells out the authority given to the Police Officers under the 2015 Public Finance Management (Government Vehicles) Regulation.
For instance, the Police officer can issue a citation on the driver if an offence is found to have been committed. A breathalyzer test can also done on the driver and if it turns out a positive reading, he or she could be arrested.
“Exception to the [rules] are Government vehicles allocated to the Head of State; Deputy Council Members; Prime Minister; Cabinet Ministers; Associate Minister; Chief Justice; Justices and Judges; Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Chief Executive Officers.”
The Police Officers are also required to report all the impounded government vehicles to the Commissioner of Police.
Last month, the Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure, Papali'i Niko Lee Hang, called on the Ministry of Police to impound Government vehicles under his portfolio – if they are found after-hours.
“Any vehicles found on the road after-hours and on the weekend without the appropriate sticker showcased on the windshield, will be impounded by the Police,” he said.
“The vehicles will be taken to the Ministry compound and parked there and the driver can find his/her way home.”
The Minister reminded that under the law, the Police has that authority.
“These are all efforts to curb the abuse of vehicle and save costs for the government as these are government assets. And this has been an ongoing issue and this is one way to address it," he said.
In February this year, the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.) appealed to the public to report drivers who are seen to be reckless when driving E.P.C. vehicles.
“The initiative is to minimise the abuse of Government assets,” said the E.P.C. General Manager, Tologata Tile Tuimaleali’ifano, in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
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.”