The appointments of four Assistant Attorney General positions have been confirmed this week, completing the Management team, while 21 vacant positions remain to be filled in the office.
The four leadership positions, vacated through the resignations of previous senior lawyers in the roles, have been filled from within the Office of the AG by lawyers who have all served a number of years with the office.
“Their skills and knowledge in the laws of Samoa and the Pacific are assets to the Office,” sates Su’a.
The criminal division that has been struggling in the past several months due to a mass exodus of senior trial lawyers will now be headed by Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa appointed to the role of Assistant Attorney General – Criminal Prosecution Division.
The Civil Litigation and Opinion Division will be headed by Letoafaiga Lalau David J Fong, who has worked his way up through the AG’s office for close to 10 years.
Leilua Sosefina Faamausili will take up the position of Assistant Attorney General – Commercial & International Laws Division. Leota Leitu Moananu-Morin has been appointed Assistant Attorney General of the Legislative Drafting Division.
The Corporate Services Manager, Pisila Pauli Tikeri, was appointed in July 2022. Ms Tikeri has provided integral support to the Attorney General in managing the office and recruitment of new staff.
Attorney General, Su’a Hellene Wallwork is delighted with the appointments and says they are all very well deserved.
“I have worked with all four of these lawyers since I was appointed as Attorney General on an interim basis in September 2021. From the outset I was impressed with their work ethic, their knowledge of the law and in depth understanding of the mechanics of Government processes.
“They have all shown leadership skills and positive attitudes at a time when this Office is very short staffed and facing numerous challenges and requests for legal services to Government. I look forward to strengthening our management team to lead the Office”’, says Su’a.
Retention and recruitment of lawyers for the Office remains a challenge and the Attorney General says she has requested the Public Service Commission and Cabinet to review the salary scales for lawyers within the Attorney General’s Office, as well as the scholarship program to Office of the Attorney General to allow for more law scholarships to meet the Government’s demands.
“At the moment, there is only one scholarship for law per year.”
With 21 vacant position in the Office of the AG, Su’a says every effort is being made to recruit new lawyers, however, “the number of vacancies is expected to increase through natural attrition.”
Su’a says that she looks forward to working with her management team to set the workplan for 2023 and to prioritise the work that can be done within the Office.