Govt. employee who altered payroll records sacked
The Government has terminated the services of an employee of the Ministry of Finance (M.O.F.) after she allegedly altered payroll records to stop automatic deductions from her salary to repay a loan she had with the Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.).
This was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) for the Ministry of Finance, Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi, during an interview with the Samoa Observer.
But Leasiosiofaasisina declined to provide any identifying information about the employee concerned.
The Samoa Observer, however, understands the employee involved is a woman whose job gave her the power to overwrite the Government’s wider payroll system and stop her deductions for the repayment of the loan.
“This [was] happening during the measles outbreak and this person works within our payroll division,” Leasiosio said.
“The employee ceased [her] S.N.P.F. contribution and it was flagged and so an internal investigation was conducted, before it was completed the staff came to apologise and admitted to what she did.”
Leasiosio said after the employee's admission, the Ministry opted not to take the matter to the Ministry of Police.
“When [they] admitted to it on the spot [their] services were terminated,” he said.
According to the C.E.O., the former staff member had only used their access to cease the S.N.P.F. deductions of an outstanding loan on her account, not make other alterations.
“[But] when you cease your payment you are breaking the law,” Leasiosio said.
The C.E.O. said after the incident occurred the employees account was frozen due to it being in a state of arrears because of the missed history of repayments.
She can no longer apply for a loan from the S.N.P.F. or get access to the Fund’s dividends.
“As you know the [S.N.P.F. requires that if you take out a] loan [... you must] pay,” he said.
Leasiosio strongly defended the Ministry’s decision not to report the matter to the Police.
“This person has been terminated and it’s on [their] record and therefore [they] can no longer apply for any government job and even with the private sector; when this person applies for a job, they contact us for a reference check and we tell them this person’s services were terminated and that is the penalty,” he said.
“This person came to ask us for a second chance because she’s not getting any employment anywhere, but there is nothing we can do.
“You break the law, you should know that there will be consequences,” said Leasiosio.