Cabinet orders “investigative and forensic audit” of projects approved by previous administration


The Fiame Administration under the FAST Government is proceeding to conduct a thorough “investigative and forensic audit” for projects approved by the previous Government, including the use of funding from the measles in 2020 and Covid-19 recently. 

This was confirmed in a confidential Cabinet Directive (22) 18 issued on 18 May 2022 and obtained by Radio Polynesia. 

The directive was signed by the Secretary of Cabinet and Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Agafili Shem Leo. 

The Cabinet Directive approves the allocation of half a million from the new financial year to fund this initiative. 

The selection of a commission to be headed by the Minister of Finance, Mulipola Anarosa Ale-Molioo to work with the Samoa Institute of Accountants and the Samoa Law Society if additional assistance is required. 

A term of reference to outline its mandates with a report to be submitted to Cabinet for its review. 

Another project to be investigated is the $12 million tala which was dispensed to individuals in $50 for those who register for the national census identification in 2020. 

The Cabinet Directive, outlined the subjects in two parts to be investigated, the first batch consist of 11 projects, including the $17 million tala Ti’avea Airport Project, which was launched in 2019 and the initial cost of the project was set at $10 million tala. 

This proposed airport was to be used as an emergency airport located in Ti’avea.

In April of that year, the former Government and the Ti’avea Village Council signed an agreement approving the development of Ti’avea Airport, and the handover of the required land. A total of $1.7 million of public funds was spent on the development of the airport located on reclaimed swampland. 

The Sheraton Hotel and Bungalows, Apia Beach Road; leasing of the Samoa Airways Aircraft; building of the two Prisons, the $18 million Tanumalala prison and the $600,000 Vaia’ata prison in Savaii. 

The $7 million tala Samoa National Provident Fund state-of-the-art headquarters in Salelologa, Savaii is also on the list, and the new $4 million tala Office of the Electoral Commission at Milunu’u. 


Furthermore, the Samoa National Broadband Highway and School Net Program and the underground Cable network arrangements, and the wharf in Satitoa and Matautu, Apia were also on the list of projects to be audited. 

Also to be audited is the funding spent on the incident of the grounding of the Nafanua in Savaii, furthermore, the $3 million tala tax invoice monitoring system or T.I.M.S. is a web-based monitoring tool that enables real-time capture of the sales on how much tax should be collected from each business. 

According to the Cabinet Directive, another major project scrutinized is the funding used for electricity works by EPC of Falelatai and Samatau, as part of campaigning in 2019-2020, and the purchase of computers by the Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure costing close to $200,000 from one company, with transactions completed in one day.  

Another funding issue to be audited is the payout of close to $200,000 paid to the former Chief Justice, the Late Patu Taivasu’e Falefatu Sapolu by the previous administration for his “end of service benefit”.

The current Cabinet wants to find out if the payout was in line with the Civil List Act. The amount approved was $176,480 according to public accounts.

The former Chief Justice retired in 2019 after serving 26 years on the bench.

Last year, the former Chief Justice passed away.

Furthermore, the Cabinet Directive says the spending by the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of “unforeseen and unauthorized” whether it was in accordance with financing laws of Government spending. 

Also noted in the Directive to be audited are the tendering processes conducted on projects by the Land Transport Authority, the Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure, and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and others. 

The second part is the funding used by the Government during the Covid-19 and measles in 2020 and whether this funding was used in accordance with the law. 

Furthermore, the Attorney General is to look at relevant laws to carry out these mandates and report back to Cabinet.