Minister blames management
The alleged manipulation of the Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) system where information was altered falls squarely on the management of the Authority.
So says the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang.
In doing so, he assures that new “security features” have been installed to ensure their system cannot be manipulated anymore.
His comments were in response to questions pertaining to the resignation of Assistant Chief Executive Officers of L.T.A., Mata'afa Sepelini Poufa.
“The other A.C.E.O., Anoanoai Pepe Lafai, the Attorney General’s Office is currently working on her case,” said Papali’i.
Last month, the Minister confirmed the A.C.E.O. who was investigated was asked to tender their resignation.
As reported earlier, documents leaked to the Samoa Observer show that the year of manufacture for the vehicles were changed from 2000 to 2005 so they could be registered on the L.T.A’s Road Transport Administration System (R.T.A.S.).
One of the vehicles involved, according to documents obtained by the Sunday Samoan, is a Toyota Allion.
On the P.S.V. vehicle inspection, the car is a 2003 model. But according to the R.T.A.S, it’s been amended to 2006. Both documents point to the same V.I.N. number.
Papali’i told the Samoa Observer this should have never happened.
“All government and ministry corporations have security guidelines in terms of protecting their records, but it just the monitoring and controlling securities needs to be strengthened,” he said.
“People who do not have the clearance to access records have gained access and the question is how they got the access without any authorization?"
“Yet we have policies in place which points to the fact that only people with access, should be allowed and after all these are all human control switches that can be altered."
“And I blame the management because no other L.T.A. employee can just access the system, other than those who have clearance to access the system and this is what happens and I blame the management and whoever is responsible for the I.T. division."
“There should be secure security systems to assure this does not happen anymore."
“Anything that is installed or coded into the computers comes out the same, and so when there are changes it is made by those who have access."
“All the security measures need to be revisited to assure these things will never happen again because the A.C.E.O's have both denied because they don’t have access but interviews of the employees clearly indicates they were instructed to make these changes,” said Papali’i.
As reported last month, the Samoa Observer questioned whether the matter will be referred to the Ministry of Police for a criminal investigation.
The Minister said no. If the A.C.E.O's resign, that would be the end of it.
“It’s up to them what they do. They have been asked to resign and I think that is the end of it,” said Papali’i.
“The reality is that the matter needs to be transferred to the Attorney General’s office for a legal opinion.”