Regulator has not resigned: Minister

The Minister of Communication, Information and Technology (M.C.I.T.), Afamasaga Rico Tupai has confirmed that the suspended Regulator, Lefaoali’i Unutoa Auelua – Fonoti, has not resigned. 

The statement contradicts reports in other media last week that the Regulator had tendered her resignation following a recommendation report from the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) to terminate her services. 

In response to queries from the Samoa Observer, the Minister of M.C.I.T. said the Regulator has not resigned. 

He said that the Cabinet would likely discuss the recommendations report from P.S.C. later this week. 

Lefaoali’i did not respond to queries from the Samoa Observer. 

However, writing on her Facebook page, she denied reports of her resignation. 

“Patiently waiting for [a] Cabinet decision,” she wrote. 

Lefaoali’i has been suspended since February this year following an investigation from the P.S.C. into a complaint from the Executive Secretary of the Regulator’s Office, Fialupe Uelese. 

The employee alleged mistreatment and abuse of authority at the hands of  Lefaoali’i. 

The conclusion of the investigation led the P.S.C. to file charges against her, in findings tabled before Cabinet last week. 

In that report, P.S.C. Executive Member, Lauano Vaosa Epa wrote that, based on an apparent breach of the terms and conditions, the Commission recommended the termination of her employment contract. 

The P.S.C. alleges that Lefaoali’i admitted to misusing her authority and to mistreating her Executive Secretary “only once”. 

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