Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi yesterday announced 13 Associate Ministers who will working alongside Cabinet Ministers for the next five years.
The announcement was made inside the Cabinet room. The ceremony, which also served as a swearing in session, was attended by Members of Parliament.
The chosen 13 are;
• Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet: Peseta Vaifou Tevaga
• Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment: Taefu Lemi Taefu
• Ministry of Police: Amituanai Fagaivalu Kenrick
• Ministry of Health: Salausa Dr. John Ah Ching
• Ministry of Public Enterprises: Tuifa’asisina Misa Risati
• Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries: Fa’asootauloa Pati Taulapapa
• Ministry of Education Sports and Culture: Alai'asa Moefaauouo Sepulona
• Ministry of Revenue: So’oalo Mene
• Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure: Seuli Ueligitone
• Ministry of Communications and Information and Technology: Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi
• Ministry of Finance: Mulipola Lei’ataua Laki
• Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development: Tofa Lio Foleni Lio
• Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Lenatai Victor Tamapua
In making the announcement, Tuilaepa highlighted the crucial role of Associate Ministers to assist Ministers in responding to the needs of the country.
"There are many ways to serve our country - as a cabinet minister, associate minister or through many of the vitally important parliamentary committees,” Tuilaepa said.
"In selecting the associate ministers, it was again very important to make sure that our choices are representative of a wide and varied group, while also acknowledging personal attributes, skills and experience."
The Prime Minister emphasised the crucial contribution of all Parliamentarians, irrespective of whether they have been given a Cabinet post or Associate Minister role.
"As this is the first time we have such an overwhelming majority in Parliament, it's even more important that the work of government follows the guidelines of good governance.
"We have to check each other and make sure that what is appropriate and good for Samoa is what takes precedence. "We are all human, so Government is never going to be perfect.
Therefore it's important that we are not hesitant to employ all measures of good governance so we remain accountable and on track with our plans for the development of the country and the improvement of livelihoods for all."
Associate Ministers are appointed under the Parliamentary Under-Secretaries Act 1988, and although they are not members of Cabinet, they are still bound by the principle of collective ministerial unity, solidarity and responsibility. During an interview with the media, Tuilaepa explained that no government is perfect.
“That is what I meant when I mentioned that wheat grows together with weed because wherever there is good there is also bad.
“It’s never a hundred percent in a government’s work…a Minister might think it’s good and the same with his C.E.O but the Auditor might find some problems.”
Tuilaepa said that is why some well-qualified and experienced M.Ps were not chosen because they will be responsible for Chairing and being Deputy Chairpersons for Parliamentary Committees.
The biggest names again excluded yesterday are that of former Deputy Prime Minister, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, Gataoloaifaana Amataga Gidlow, Tafua Maluelue Tafua among others.