02 February 2019, Apia samoa. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi raised his concerns about Members of Parliament misusing information being discussed within Parliamentary Committees for ‘politicking’.
Tuilaepa’s concern is that this may deter Chief Executive Officers of Government Ministries from presenting complete information to Parliamentarians.
Tuilaepa raised this during his weekly programme with the media when he was asked about the Member of Parliament for Salega East, Olo Fiti Vaai using the word “corrupt” to describe some Government activities from the past year.
The Prime Minister says that MPs like Olo Fiti Vaai seem to be using the information they receive from CEOs during parliamentary committee assessments, to make themselves look informed about the issues.
“Lea na fai lau faamatalaga i le Palemene, o mataupu ia e ke le polokiki ai.”
“E ala ona fiafia CEO e avaku makaupu ia, ae kou ke faaaogaiga loa mea ia faalauaitele, ona tou fiu loa lea e toe fai i CEO’s ua leai sesi e toe fia alu atu.”
“Ua faaaoga e le ula lea o Levaopolo ia faamatalaga ia e avatu, ona sau loa lea faasalalau e pei o ia o le kama poko, ae leiloa o faamatalaga ia na avatu e le aufaigaluega a le malo.”
Olo Fiti Vaai has hit back to say that all the information received within Parliamentary Committees are open to the public and that they attend Parliament as representatives of their constituencies and not as committee members.
“All Government Ministries are duty bound to be transparent to Parliamentary Committees”
“There is no such thing as confidentiality before the Committee.”
“When I am in Parliament I represent the interests of the people of my constituency, I am not there as a Committee member.”
Olo is a member of the Budget Expenditure Committee, with seven other Members of Parliament.
Olo laid out the situation saying that Parliamentary Committees have the authority to summons and charge whomever refuses to come before the committee.
Olo says that the Prime Minister is defending the government very well but adds, “He gets personal when he runs out of bullets”.
“Aua le pese so’o i le transparency, accountability and good governance ae le fa’atino.”