P.S.C. terminates services of Public Works C.E.O.

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Afamasaga Pou Onesemo and Minister M.W.T.I.: Papali'i Niko Lee Hang.

Afamasaga Pou Onesemo and Minister M.W.T.I.: Papali'i Niko Lee Hang. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) has terminated the services of the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (M.W.T.I.), Afamasaga Su’a Pou Onesemo.

The decision was confirmed yesterday by the Minister of M.W.T.I., Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, during an interview with the Samoa Observer. 

 “The P.S.C. made the recommendation and I endorsed their decision,” Papali’i said. 

“The basis of the termination is poor management and a breach of contract.”

The Minister didn’t elaborate on further questions about poor management and breach of contract. 

“I received a letter from the P.S.C. outlining the recommendation. The letter also asked for comments on behalf of the Ministry. I endorsed their recommendation for termination.”

Attempts to get a comment from the P.S.C. have not been successful. Emails to the Chairman, Aiono Mose Su’a, have not been responded to as off press time last night.

Contacted for a comment, Afamasaga said he was not aware that his contract has been terminated. 

 “[I] didn’t get any notification of termination,” said Afamasaga. 

He maintained his innocence vowing to fight the decision to terminate his contract. 

In June, Afamasaga strongly rejected allegations of corruption leveled against him by a former Member of Parliament of the Government of India, Sh.P.K. Bansal.

In his capacity as the Executive Director of a company called Ascent Navals, Mr. Bansal had written to the Chairman of the Public Service Commission on 28 May 2018, alleging “corrupt and illegal practices” by the Chief Executive Officer.

When the Samoa Observer contacted Afamasaga for a comment then, he not only denied the allegations in the letter, he counter-accused Mr. Bansal and Ascent Navals of being corrupt themselves.

“These allegations is due to their frustration from numerous visits to Samoa and offers to myself and the Ministry that I continued to deny,” Afamasaga said at the time. 

During the interview with the Minister in his office yesterday, Papali’i said the Ministry needs a C.E.O.

“We have not had a C.E.O. for three months. An Acting C.E.O.’s decision making are very limited. And so the absence of a C.E.O. has an impact on the projects of this office."

“The P.S.C. anticipates advertising the C.E.O. position by the end of the month.” 

Afamasaga is the second high profile position holder at M.W.T.I. to be let go.

In June, the P.S.C. terminated the services of Fepulea’i Mark Alesana, Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Maritime Division of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (M.W.T.I.).

© Samoa Observer 2016

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