14 Jun 2004

Samoan opposition voices concern over the way public servants behave towards them

3:51 pm on 14 June 2004

Samoa's opposition has claimed in parliament that public servants are non co-operative and work in fear of upsetting their bosses.

The opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati, says they have a fear of being associated with the opposition because they think they might miss out on government contracts.

The Democratic United Party spokesman, Su'a Atonio, says high-status people are treated respectfully by public servants but when others approach, including Opposition MPs, they turn their backs.

Su'a says the non-cooperative attitude of public servants appeared to come from Cabinet ministers.

But, the Minister of the Public Service Commission, Palusalue Faapo II, rejects the accusation, and says Su'a should've informed him or the Prime Minister about it.

Former Prime Minister, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese, said public servants become vulnerable to political influence after being promoted to senior jobs which allows them to take out loans backed by the higher wages.

He says they stay on the correct political side because getting fired would endanger the repayment of loans.