PSC recommends to “terminate” contract for Health ACEO


Minister of Health, Valasi Tafito Selesele has confirmed the Public Service Commission has recommended to “terminate” the contract for ACEO of Health Agnes Stowers, accused of falsifying documents that led to awarding of a $48,000 tala contract to her husband’s company.

In an interview with Radio Polynesia, the Minister said the delay is that Cabinet has yet to decide whether to uphold the recommendations by the Public Service Commission as this matter hasn’t been deliberated for a final decision.  

In March Stowers was charged with four counts of misconduct by the PSC, such as breaching 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.

Eight days after her suspension Stowers 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 cited that Stowers endorsed procurement services from Trans works 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.

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 recovery works by the Ministry IT that the email was able to be recovered.

As reported earlier this came to light after the Ministry conducted an Internal Audit and 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.

In earlier interviews with the suspended ACEO, she disputed the Health’s Internal Audit report.