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APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Sept. 11) – The chief accountant at Samoa’s Ministry of Health yesterday denied any wrongdoing after receiving official word of an investigation of fiscal -irregularities at the agency.

"I’m clean of this and I will seek legal advice," said Mateo Ah Tong of investigations being conducted into financial problems in the Health ministry.

Ah Tong confirmed he has received a letter from the Public Service Commission (PSC) about the probe but declined further comment.

Assistant Chief Executive Officer Samau Ieru Lokeni also declined comment.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer Lolofie Taule’ale’ausumai Dr Eti Enosa, who said on Thursday to contact him yesterday for comment, left for China early yesterday morning, it was confirmed.

Cabinet is being urged to ask Lolofie to resign, a PSC source had said on Thursday.

Assistant chief executive officer Samau, internal auditor Filemoni Mulinuu, and the chief accountant face possible disciplinary action, the source said.

Filemoni Mulinuu is away in Fiji and could not be contacted for comment.

Lolofie is attending a World Health Organization Western Pacific region meeting in China with Minister of Health Mulitalo Siafausa Vui.

Three separate investigations have already led to action against a number of staff over alleged misuse of money. Some suspended junior-level staff members have appeared in court.

September 15, 2004

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