SAMOA MINISTER UPSET OVER LEAKED AUDIT

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Revealed loss of $1 million by Samoa Broadcasting Corp.

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, July 30, 2008) – Anyone who leaks information to the "newspaper" should no longer be part of a government board.

So threatened the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Safuneitu’uga Pa’aga Neri, to members of the Audit Committee of the Samoa Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), in a letter obtained by the Samoa Observer.

Dated 24 June 2008, the letter in Samoan, addressed to the Chairman of the Audit Committee, Muliagatele Alfred Hunt and Committee members, expressed the Minister’s disappointment over the leakage of an Audit report, which revealed an unexplained loss of $1,011,542 at SBC, for the year ended 30 June 2007.

The loss led to a "special investigation" conducted by the Audit Office into "special areas of SBC" in April 2008, on a request from Safuneitu’uga.

The Audit report was published in full in the Sunday Samoan of 22 June 2008.

"This report was provided only for the information of members of your committee (Audit)," Safuneitu’uga wrote.

The Minister said the members were also "warned" during SBC Board meetings to refrain from leaking key decisions by the board to the "newspaper."

Leaking confidential materials to the "newspaper" indicate that members lack the integrity to protect confidential reports tabled for discussions, Safuneitu’uga wrote.

"Whoever possesses this weakness should no longer be part of any board for any government Ministry or corporation," the Minister wrote.

The Minister’s letter was also copied to the Prime Minister and members of the SBC Board.

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

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