Ombudsman expands, relocates

The Office of the Ombudsman and Samoa’s National Human Rights Institution was last week relocated from the Central Bank Building to expanded offices at the N.P.F. Plaza in Savalalo.

The office was closed to the public from Wednesday to Friday last week.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, a representative from the office, Davina Rasch Salanoa, said the relocation was driven by an expansion of the organisations’ employees. 

“The office of the Ombudsman has relocated due to an increase in staff member capacity,” she said.

“We love it at Central Bank however the space is really limited for our staff and here at Plaza we can fit perfectly with the space.”

Normal hours of operation will recommence from the new location at Level 2 of the S.N.P.F. Plaza on Monday, 6 July. 

In 2017, the Office of the Ombudsman told Parliament of its need for more staff members to discharge its expanded mandate.

The Chairman of the Parliament Standing Orders Committee, Aeau Peniamina Leavaiseeta, moved a motion for the Committee’s report to be approved with recommendations on the Annual Report of the Office of the Ombudsman. 

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, read out the responses provided by the Office on the Committee’s recommendation. 

“The value of the Ombudsman to the community lies in the quality of his [Commissioner] conclusions and advice,” he said. 

But the Prime Minister said its values were never improved by an increase in mid-level staff, no matter how many:

“Cabinet has already looked carefully into the needs of the Ombudsman in the discharge of his expanded mandates and approved staffing requirements in its decision FK (15)15; of 23 April 2015.”

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