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Regulator and two executives remain suspended

There has been no update forthcoming from the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) on the investigation into the suspended Regulator, Lefaoali’I Unutoa Auelua – Fonoti, and two other Assistant Chief Executive Officers. 

The two other A.C.E.Os - Fa’alelei Su’a and Venus Iosefa-Salanoa - were suspended together with Lefaoali’i in February for allegedly “hindering” an initial investigation into the Regulator. 

The Minister of Communications, Information and Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai said the investigation has taken some time and that he would follow-up on the matter.

“I still haven’t heard back from P.S.C. on what has become of the investigation,” said he said. “Work is still ongoing despite the state of emergency and there are three people involved in the investigation. 

“The Regulator’s Office management team has reduced due to the investigation and those [at the] principal level have had to step-up.” 

The Acting Regulator is Fesolai Cescily Fa’asau-Iakopo, who is also the A.C.E.O. for the Office of the Regulator's Legal Division. 

Attempts to get a comment from the P.S.C. on the progress of its investigations have been unsuccessful. 

Last week the Office lost its headquarter at Mulinu’u when it was destroyed by fire, forcing the Office to move to the premises of the broadcaster 2AP to continue operation. 

In a previous interview with the Minister, when the A.C.E.Os were suspended, he said the managers were allegedly hindering the process and they were removed temporarily to allow the P.S.C. to carry out its investigation. 

Lefaoali’i was suspended by Cabinet earlier in February, following a complaint lodged with the P.S.C. last year by Regulator's executive secretary, Fialupe Fuimaono Uelese.

The nature of the complaint alleges mistreatment and abuse by the Regulator. 

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