Fagafaga confirmed as KVZK director
The Office of Public Information (KVZK-TV) has a new director — Fagafaga Daniel Langkilde — confirmed by the Senate on Thursday following a vote of 11-6. The House endorsed the nominee about two weeks ago.
The final floor vote by the Senate was held up following Fagafaga’s confirmation hearing more than two weeks ago by the Senate Government Operations Committee, whose chairman Sen. Galeai Tu’ufuli requested of the Internal Audit Office a complete audit of the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts financial report.
Fagafaga was co-chair of the festival, which was hosted by American Samoa in 2008 and the financial report has been the subject of a previous Senate probe.
During Thursday’s session, Galeai presented Fagafaga’s name to the Senate membership for a final decision, saying that nothing was done with the request for a financial audit of the festival.
On Wednesday this week, Galeai’s committee convened to hear testimony from Francis Sefo of the Internal Audit Office, which is under the jurisdiction of the governor’s office and was established by executive order of former governor Togiola Tulafono.
When asked about the audit, Sefo explained the roles of the Internal Audit Office, which is within the Executive Branch, and the Territorial Audit Office, an independent entity of the government that can audit all branches of government and any other entity.
Sefo said the request by Galeai for the audit, means it came from the Fono, a third branch of government, while his office is part of the Executive Branch to handle internal audits. He also said that the Festival was completed in 2008 and the financial report was dated 2009.
Sefo says he believes the Territorial Audit Office would be the proper entity to handle a request from the Fono. However, Galeai pointed out that the festival report is actually part of the executive branch because it was addressed to the governor (Togiola) and was not a report from the Fono.
“So you’re saying that only the governor can give the okay to conduct an audit of this report?” Galeai asked.
Sefo answered by again talking about the difference between his office, which deals with internal issues of the Executive Branch, compared to the Territorial Audit Office, which Sefo suggested could audit the Arts Festival.
With that testimony from Sefo, the committee chairman told colleagues, “it appears from the testimony that the audit is only carried out if the governor gives the okay,” and therefore no more questions were required at that point.
He did tell the committee that there is still enough time during the 33rd Legislature to deal with the issue of auditing the festival report.
Fagafaga began his career in the media and public affairs 29 years ago, as general manager of then Radio Samoa- WVUV. He was the first general manager of Bluesky Communications; and had served as president and CEO of locally based, now defunct, Malama Communications Inc., (Malama TV).