Governor takes DPW director to task for slow payment process
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has instructed Director of Public Works Faleosina Voight to fix the payment process that DPW undergoes when paying the private sector. This was revealed in a letter sent last week to the DPW Director.
In his letter, Lolo also said that the DPW director’s response to challenges assigned to her have been “admirable and much appreciated”, and further noted the number of projects and responsibilities encountered by the DPW Director.
However he pointed out an operational deficiency lies with DPW’s ‘financial responsiveness’.
“As you continue to execute your responsibilities, I need to bring to your attention an administration issue which needs to be addressed. Regrettably, the noted operating deficiency is not attributed to your technical capacity, but in particular to your financial responsiveness.”
“This operational defect has been brought to your attention on several occasions, but corrective measures have not been adopted, hence the re-surging complaints from our vendors relative to your ineffective and inefficient payment system.”
Gov. Lolo said the average time lapse connected with the payment of invoices by federal agencies is 21 days or less and for the local government, the fastest is 39 days and this is “seldom”.
“This does not make us a good partner when we are demanding speed over the completion of tasks from our vendors,” he said, adding the government appreciates the vendor’s reciprocation to the government in its demands, and therefore should be getting their invoices paid in the least amount of time.
Lolo then informed the DPW Director to provide for his review a truncated payment process to ensure that vendors are paid within a defined period of time so the private sector will know when to expect payments, especially in light of jobs being predicated on their revenue streams.
The governor asked to review this “process” in one week’s time or sooner.
Emails sent to the DPW Director for a comment on the issue were not immediately answered.