PSC seized hard drive from Director General’s computer


The Ministry of Health’s Director-General Leausa Dr Take Naseri has come under the microscope of the Public Service Commission.

This is in connection to a Cabinet ordered PSC investigation into the delay in procuring the computerized tomography or CT scanner for the hospital.

Last month the PSC seized the hard drive from the Health Director-General’s computer, the move was made when Leausa was overseas on medical leave.

The hard drive contained deleted emails that led to allegations of collusion and the “discovery of a middle man” in relation to the tendering process of the CT scanner in November 2020.

This was confirmed by Ministry of Health officials. The PSC staff including IT personnel visited the office of the Director-General and seized the hard drive in March.

Radio Polynesia reached out to the Chair of the PSC, Lauano Vaosa Epa for comments via emails, but she only acknowledged receiving the email and assured a response will be issued but to date that has not happened.

A call was placed on her cell phone yesterday, Lauano answered and prefers her comments are sent by email, rather than being interviewed over the phone.

“I would prefer to comment on the email. I have received your emails, but I am in the middle of something,” said Lauano.

Emails and repeated calls to Leausa for comments were also unanswered. The Minister of Health, Valasai Tafito Selesele has yet to respond to calls for comments on this matter. 

The Taupua Tamasese Meaole hospital’s CT scanner has been out of commission since 2020 and local patients were flown over to American Samoa to get their scans done. 

Earlier this month Lauano confirmed the Cabinet ordered a PSC investigation into the delay in procuring the CT scanner. 

“Upon receiving directives from the Cabinet, I can confirm that PSC is currently conducting an investigation into the delay of the procurement of the Scanner,” said Lauano.

“The investigation is ongoing though it is presently delayed due to the current situation of the COVID 19 and the need for the Ministry of Health to re-assign and commit most of their available staff to assist as and where necessary”. 

The previous administration approved the purchase of the scanner. However, nine months into the FAST administration taking over the CT scanner finally arrived, this was confirmed by the Minister in earlier interviews with Radio Polynesia at his office last month.

Valasi said the CT scan has arrived, but the hospital is waiting for “special technicians” from overseas to arrive in the Country; to assemble and install the machine before it can be used.

Adding that the hospital is working with the Accidental Compensation Corporation to build a secure building to store the new CT scan, which was paid for by the Accidental Compensation Corporation and thanked them for their contribution to the health care of the Samoan people.

In January, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Leatinu’u Wayne So’oialo that oversees the Accidental Compensation Corporation that purchased the scan, confirmed the cost of the CT scan is $3.7 million tala which was purchased from Shanghai China.

A vital tool for the hospital, a CT scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. CT scan images provide more detailed information than plain X-rays and it’s a diagnostic imaging procedure to guide further tests and treatments.