New Regulator ready for role

The newly announced head of the Office of the Regulator, Lematua Gisa Purcell, said she is humbled by her elevation and stands ready to take on its challenges. 

The new Regulator thanked God first and foremost for her appointment, which was revealed on Wednesday.

"I am very humbled and thank the Lord for the appointment," she said.

"The role of C.E.O. of Regulator comes with challenges but with a well grounded experience, skills and knowledge, and in particular taking into account the needs of the Samoan people is of most importance.

"My purpose is not only with the regulatory issues but also building the capacity of staff."

The mother-of-four is currently overseas, where she heads the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (C.T.O.) as its Acting Secretary-General and the Director of Information Communication and Technology (I.C.T.) Development. 

The C.T.O. is composed of 26 member states and its mission is to improve communications technology. It is an organisation affiliated to the Commonwealth of Nations. 

Lematua's appointment was approved by Cabinet and confirmed by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, during a media programme on Wednesday afternoon. 

The new head of the Regulator’s Office has over 30 years experience in telecommunications and information and communication technology (I.C.T.) at the national, regional and international level.

Lematua is the wife of the Minister of Commerce Industry and Labour (MCIL), Lautafi Fio Purcell.

Her appointment comes after the former Regulator, Lefaoali'i Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti, resigned in May.

Speaking during his weekly press conference on Wednesday, Tuilaepa said she was the best candidate in the list of applicants.

Amongst those to apply for the position was the Acting Regulator,  the Prime Minister revealed, saying there was a very "thin" difference between the two.

Mrs. Purcell spearheaded the establishment of the National I.C.T. Committee of Samoa, where she was credited with helping to drive the deregulation of the communications market.

She was also recruited to develop Samoa’s first ever National I.C.T. Policy and Strategic Plan and its implementation, which began with liberalisation of the mobile market, schoolNet and Telecentres. 

Her work has been credited with making Samoa the first country in the region to develop a mobile communications market and the first to establish an independent telecommunications regulator.

She holds a Masters of Commerce and Administration Degree from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She majored in Information Systems.

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