P.S.C. Chairman's contract not renewed: Agafili

The Secretary to Cabinet, Agafili Shem Leo, has dismissed a Samoa Observer article reporting Cabinet renewed the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) Chairman's contract, saying it was based on a revoked directive. 

In a press statement on Monday afternoon, Agafili, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet clarified that a Cabinet directive (FK) was for the continuation of Chairman, Aiono Mose Sua and Commissioner, Auelua Samuelu Enari's service until a new Government comes into power, but not a contract renewal.

Agafili was referring to a front-page article printed in Monday's edition: "Caretaker Government 'reappoints' P.S.C. Chairman"

"The Cabinet decision FK(21)20 of 27th May 2021, approved the continuation of the Chairman – Aiono Mose Sua and Commissioner Auelua Samuelu Enari for now, only until a new Government is sworn in," Agafili wrote.

"The Cabinet decision is attached. This Cabinet decision revoked the earlier Cabinet decision on 19th May 2021."

The FK(21)20 issued on May 27 attached with the statement on Monday confirmed that the Cabinet had approved for the "continuation" of Aiono's services as the P.S.C. Chairman and Auelua's services as the P.S.C. Commissioner and that both appointments will undergo review once a new Government is sworn in.

The article was based on a confidential Cabinet Secretariat letter dated 19 May 2021 and addressed to the P.S.C. Chairman Aiono, obtained by the Samoa Observer, that confirmed his appointment for a further three years and was signed off by the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet C.E.O. Agafili Shem Leo.

"The article also refers to my letter sent to the Commission in response to a matter raised by the Commission on the growing backlog of contractual position appointments since the 3rd of March 2021, when the government began operating as Caretaker government," Agafili's statement continues.

"As would be noted from the exchange of letters the concern was for applicants to positions of Assistant CEOs, who were being left uncertain of the outcome of positions that they had interviewed for, according to the Recruitment and Selection process. 

"These applicants, both successful and not successful would need to know the outcome of the selection without inordinate delay so that they can move on and decide on their futures."

Agafili highlighted that the Cabinet conducts itself accordingly with Part Four of the Constitution of Samoa that stipulates the roles of the Executive. 

"Further Cabinet has clear processes and procedures that are clearly defined in the Cabinet Manual that requires coordination between government agencies and the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in the preparation of submissions for Cabinet’s consideration," he said. 

"In the performance of these prescribed duties, government agencies are required to prepare submissions and seek advice from relevant agencies depending on the subject of the submission." 

Agafili was contacted by the Samoa Observer for comment on the disputed story but didn't respond at the time of going to press over the weekend. 

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