P.S.C. Chairman declines request from former C.E.O.

The Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) has refused to revisit its decision to terminate the contract of former Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Papali’i John Taimalelagi.

The P.S.C. Chairman, Aiono Mose Sua, wrote to the former C.E.O. in a letter dated 28th May 2019 to advise that the Commission has decided to decline his request for reinstatement.

“Your request for re-instatement or the reversal of the P.S.C. recommendations for termination (as then subsequently approved by the Honourable Cabinet) must be declined," the P.S.C. Chairman wrote.

Last month Papali’i wrote to the P.S.C. to reconsider Cabinet's decision to terminate his contract in early May, saying that he was forced to admit the charges under pressure by the Minister of Justice and P.S.C. member, Auelua Samuelu Enari. 

The allegations were strongly denied by Auelua. 

Aiono, in his letter dated 29 May, 2019 indicated that Papali’i was informed by the P.S.C. representative to engage independent legal counsel. 

“Therefore, where you are said to have undertaken to seek the views and have your own discussion with various parties before entering your plea/submission that was a matter that you did undertake of your own free will," Aiono's letter said.

“Furthermore, the members of the government that you have identified in your letter have instructed Counsel for Government, that in the end, the final decision on whether to make admissions to the P.S.C. charges was ultimately made by you, not any of them.” 

Aiono said that Papali'i did also offer some explanations “about your admitted actions, during the alleged offending. This therefore indicates to us that you were in fact sincere about your admissions". 

The P.S.C. Chairman said the overall review of the evidence, when it was evaluated independently of his admissions, was that it was overwhelming and supported by several witnesses. 

“Finally your admissions, removed any need for the extensive evidence to be canvassed, including for example, recordings of a conversation that you did have with one of the complainants.

“I would respectfully suggest that you take into account the matters outlined above in decided on the course of actions you may wish to take,” Aiono stated in his letter. 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi recently joined the debate on the issue, and urged Papali’i to accept the decision of the PSC and move on.

“No one forced the former C.E.O. to resign from his position and the decision of the Public Service Commission is final.

“The allegations leveled against the former C.E.O. are very damaging and will only humiliate him. My advice to Papali’i is to accept the decision. 

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"If he moves forward with this matter it will eventually lead to Court and all his dirty laundry will come out and yet it comes directly from the his (former) staff. I didn’t think he wouldn’t take this route and it will only bring harm to him personally," the Prime Minister said.

Aiono’s letter is printed verbatim below. 

28 May 2019

Afioga Papali’i John Taimalelagi Afele

Lau Afioga, 

“Termination of Contract”

Your letter of 6 May 2019 refers. 

Your request for re-instatement or the reversal of the P.S.C. [Public Service Commission] recommendations for termination (as then subsequently approved by the Honourable Cabinet) must be declined. 

It is well noted on the file that you were informed by the P.S.C. representative to engage independent legal counsel. Therefore, where you are said to have undertaken to seek the views and have your own discussion with various parties before entering your plea/submission that was a natter that you did undertake of your own free will. 

Furthermore, the members of the government that you have identified in your letter have instructed Counsel for Government, that in the end, the final decision on whether to make admissions to the P.S.C. charges was ultimately made by you, not any of them. 

The final recommendation from P.S.C. was made with your admission to the charges and we note that you did also offer some explanations about your admitted actions, during the alleged offending. This therefore indicates to us, that you were in fact sincere about your admissions. 

It is also noted that the overall review of the evidence, when it was evaluated independently of your admissions was that it was overwhelming and supported by several witnesses. Finally your admissions, removed any need for the extensive evidence to be canvassed, including for example, recordings of a conversation that you did have with one of the complainants. 

I would respectfully suggest that you take into account the matters outlined above in decided on the course of actions you may wish to take.

Male faaaloalo, 

Aiono Mose Pouvi Sua

Chairman

Public Service Commission


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