Hiring decision behind A.C.E.O. probe

The country's top planning official is under investigation after an allegation he made an inappropriate hiring decision.

The Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure’s (M.W.T.I.) Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Limutau Kerisimasi Amituana’i, is under investigation by the Public Service Commission over a recruitment decision.

As the head of the Planning and Urban Management Agency (P.U.M.A.), Limutau is the country's most senior planning official.

“The [Public Service Commission (P.S.C.)] is conducting an investigation at the M.W.T.I. on an appeal made to the P.S.C. in relation to a recruitment decision for a position in the Ministry,” said the Chairman of the P.S.C. Commissioner Aiono Mose Sua. 

“In the course of that investigation, other allegations were made,” Aiono added. 

Limutau was appointed to the A.C.E.O.’s position late last year. P.U.M.A. oversees the country's urban development and issues development consents and permits for buildings and structures of all kinds. It also regulates construction sites and the conduct of builders and inspects building sites.

The Chairman for the P.S.C. declined to provide the Samoa Observer with any more details. 

“We are not able to divulge any further information on the appeal or the allegations while the investigation is in progress to protect the rights of those involved.”

When contacted for a comment, Limutau declined to respond to the allegations, citing the ongoing investigation. 

“Please be advised that I cannot comment on your request as there are appropriate processes to follow,” he said in an emailed response. 

But it is understood that the complaint relates to alleged misconduct relating to Limutau hiring people on a basis other than merit. 

Its responsibilities include working in the present and long-term interests of all Samoans and for related purposes.

Under the law P.U.M.A.’s mandates include providing for the fair, orderly, economic and sustainable use, development and management of land including the protection of natural and man-made resources and the maintenance of ecological processes and genetic diversity.

P.U.M.A. issues development consent permits to anyone who plans to build a structure, which are required by everyone including members of the public and Government Ministries. 

The organisation is responsible for overseeing a framework for planning the use, development, management and protection of land in Samoa.

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