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First cabinet meeting for the New Year this Friday

Standing policy applies: ‘head’ of depts., agencies and authorities on island must attend

The Lolo and Lemanu Administration will be holding their first cabinet meeting this Friday for the new year and it’s mandatory that those who head the departments, agencies and authorities to attend — not their staff, said Chief of Staff, Fiu Johnny Saelua, in a general memorandum issued by the Chief of Staff yesterday.

Fiu told Samoa News that he’s reminding the departments that only acting directors are to attend the cabinet meeting, with the department/ agency staff “strictly prohibited”. He said this is what the Governor and Lt. Governor insisted on.

This is in keeping with the policy Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has established — insisting that Directors who are on island must attend cabinet meetings, and therefore some Deputy Directors who were present at the cabinet meeting last year were told to leave.

For example, at one of the cabinet meetings, Governor Lolo expressed his disappointment with the attendance of one of DOE’s Deputy Directors on behalf of the Director, who was attending a scholarship meeting. The Deputy Director was asked to contact the Director who did arrive later, with apologies.

At that cabinet meeting Governor Lolo made it clear to his cabinet that when a Director is on island, their deputies are not allowed to attend the cabinet meetings. Lolo made it clear that unless the Director is off island then the deputy director can attend the meeting, but if the director is on island, the Director must attend.

Lolo said it's been too long since the cabinet had a meeting and when these meetings are called he expects all his cabinet members to attend. He told the deputy directors to go back to their offices and have their director come to the meeting. “Tell the Director if they don’t attend the cabinet meeting their department does not have an official say in this cabinet meeting.”

He added that there are traditional leaders who have made time to attend the cabinet meeting yet some directors are busy with other meetings, and not prioritizing the cabinet meeting, which does not sit well with him.