By Rula Su’a-Va’ai
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 09 JANUARY 2018: 20 police officers have been forced to go on leave following a directive from the Prime Minister and Minister of Police that married couples should not work together in the service as of the new year.
Police spokesperson, Au’apa’au Filipo Logoitino told Talamua that only one senior officer was amongst the 20 officers affected.
Logoitino declined to confirm if the officers were offered or received any incentives or redundancy packages.
The move is part of major reforms to improve performance in the Ministry and to avoid conflicts of interest in the face of major problems in the service recently.
“For security, a married couple should never work together, and if a de facto partner works there too, then it means a man and his two wives are all working together at the Ministry and I believe that has been a contributing factor to the problems within the Ministry of Police,” Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi said during his radio programme with Samoa FM.
He said such issues should have been addressed and resolved sooner and he blamed past Police Commissioners for allowing such things to happen.
He said an organization or ministry will never operate smoothly if a married couple are both employees there, and that was why Government decided to pull the plug.
“It does not matter if it was their own family business where they can do family things together but not to apply it in the workplace,” he said.
The Ministry is advertising on social media for interested people who wish to join the police service force.