1 Dec 2020

Samoa seeks transparency and rights protector

11:06 pm on 1 December 2020

The Samoa Government is looking for a new Ombudsman.

The Samoa Observer newspaper reported the incumbent, Maiava Iulai Toma, who is one of the longest serving public servants, has been away for most of the year undergoing medical attention in New Zealand.

Samoa's Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma

Samoa's Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma Photo: supplied

Deputy Ombudsman, Maualaivao Pepe Seiuli, has been acting in the role.

Maiava's previous positions included being Secretary to the Samoan Government, CEO of the Department of Prime Minister, Commissioner for Samoa to the South Pacific Commission, Samoa's Permanent Representative to the UN, and Ambassador to the US and High Commissioner to Canada.

He took up the position of Ombudsman in 1994.

The Office of the Ombudsman, which is also the nation's National Human Rights Institution, provides advice to the general public on matters relating to good governance and investigates potential maladministration in Government agencies.

Maiava was a key part of the 2017/2018 Commission of Inquiry into domestic violence in the country, which called the situation a crisis.