F.E.S.A. Manager fate still in Cabinet's hands

The caretaker Cabinet has yet to decide on the future of Fire and Emergency Services Authority Manager for Corporate Services, Faafetai Alisi, six months since her suspension following an Ombudsman office's investigation.

In December 2020, Ms Alisi, and Principal Human Resources Officer, Petrocelli Lokeni were suspended from work, pending an investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman. 

“We are still awaiting a decision by the Cabinet,” the Commissioner for the Fire and Emergency Services Authority, Tanuvasa Petone Mauga told the Samoa Observer. 

“The investigation report along with recommendations was submitted last month and we have yet to receive any official notice.” 

Ms. Alisi retained an attorney, Lefau Harry Schuster, who called for the reinstatement of his client. 

On Tuesday, Tanuvasa said they cannot act on anything unless they receive word from the Cabinet. 

“WPretty much all we can do is wait, “he said. 

Tanuvasa told the Samoa Observer the employees’ suspensions took effect on 17 December 2020 and came after an investigation by the Ombudsman and on his recommendation.

“I can confirm the two [employees] have been suspended pending investigation but I cannot comment on the details, given that the investigation is ongoing and it would be premature to make comments at the moment,” Tanuvasa. 

“This is per recommendations made by the Ombudsman after their investigation into the allegations. 

“As per your question, the investigation is being carried out by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Enterprises and that is all I can say.” 

As reported earlier, Lefau on behalf of his clients who were present, said they are challenging the legitimacy of the process that led to their suspension by the Authority. 

“They are both contract workers and in their contract specify the process for any grievance that process is not being followed,” Lefau said at the time. 

Lefau said they will challenge the legality of the investigation carried out by the Ombudsman because it violates the constitutional rights of his clients to due process.  

“Also they were never charged and yet the [Authority] has used the investigation by the Ombudsman and is the result of the suspension of my clients,” Lefau said. 

“We will challenge that in the courtroom.  They should be reinstated immediately.

“We are happy to take this matter to court. The actions taken by the Authority are in violation of my client’s contract.  In the court’s forum, we will challenge the legality of their actions.”  

 



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