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Panel to decide on S.I.F.A's top job

The vacant position of the Chief Executive Officer for the Samoa International Finance Authority (S.I.F.A.) has attracted eight applicants with an interview of the shortlisted applicants scheduled for Monday.

This was confirmed by S.I.F.A. Chairman, Tuatagaloa Alfred Schwalger, who said an independent panel recommended by the Cabinet to conduct interviews will meet on Monday to do the shortlist before the interviews are done.

“We will know by Monday when the interviewing process will commence and those shortlisted,” Tuatagaloa said in an interview with the Samoa Observer. 

Tuatagaloa refused to give details on the applicants except to say that they are all locals.

In addition, he said the delay in the interview process was due to the measles epidemic and identifying members of the independent panel as requested by the Cabinet. 

The Chief Executive Officer position was re-advertised last year after the Cabinet revoked the contract of then C.E.O., To’oto’oleaava Dr. Fanaafi Aiono – Le Tagaloa. 

The Government is yet to disclose the reason behind the Cabinet's decision, though Finance Minister Sili Epa, when pressed on the issue at the time, said all their decisions are governed by regulations. 

“It’s Cabinet business,” he said of the Cabinet’s decision at that time.

A recommendation from a selection committee – which was endorsed by S.I.F.A. Board – for To’oto’oleaava to be reappointed was rejected by Cabinet, which then insisted that the position is re-advertised. 

Tuatagaloa said the termination of To’oto’oleaava’s contract was upsetting for the Board, as the organization performed at its peak financially during the tenure of To’oto’oleaava, when compared to three years prior to her appointment. 

According to the S.I.F.A Annual Report for 2015, prior to the appointment of To’oto’o as chief executive officer, the Authority recorded a $18 million profit. 

Three years later, the organisation’s profit margins increased by over $3 million to $21.8 million according to the S.I.F.A. financial report for 2018. 

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