PSC investigation into suspended ACEO of MOH is before Cabinet


The Public Service Commission has completed its investigation into the suspended Assistant CEO of the Finance and Procurement of the Ministry of Health, Agnes Stowers.

This was confirmed by Minister of Health, Valasi Tafito Selesele in an interview with Radio Polynesia this week.

The Minister said the investigation report contained recommendations for Cabinet’s consideration however Cabinet has yet to deliberate on it.

Stowers is accused of falsifying documents that led to awarding of a $48,000 tala contract to her husband’s company.

In March this year, eight days after Stowers was suspended by Cabinet she submitted her resignation letter to the PSC citing “unnecessary stress” on her family and her reluctance to return to a work environment that is “unhealthy for [her] peace of mind.”

However, the PSC rejected her resignation letter.

The PSC charge sheet, dated 11 March 2022 outlined the four misconduct charges against Stowers and indicated the ACEO breached section 19 (f) of the PSC Act when she failed to disclose and take all reasonable steps to avoid any real or apparent conflict of interest in the discharge of her duties and responsibilities as the ACEO.

The PSC cited that Stowers endorsed procurement services from Transworks Ltd, a company where her husband is a shareholder, and her mother’s florist company Esther Florist.
The charge sheet alleges that Stowers admitted to seeking financial assistance from two Companies that are service providers for the Ministry of Health. An engineering company and another stationery store.

The email exchange uncovered these actions. The PSC also cited the “further deletions of the email were very dubious on [Stower’s] part and it was not until extensive recover works by the Ministry IT that the email was able to be recovered.”

As reported earlier a Ministry of Health’s Internal Audit cited the ACEO in question for conflict of interest and claims the familial ties were not disclosed nor did she take the steps to avoid it.

Stowers however is disputing the Health’s Internal Audit report noting she “disagrees” with the report,” in an earlier interview with Radio Polynesia.

The Minister told Radio Polynesia this week, that the ACEO in question remains on suspension until Cabinet makes a final decision.