APIA, SAMOA – 29 MAY 2020: The Regulator, Lefaoalii Unutoa Auelua Fonoti has resigned following a Public Service Commission report that recommended terminating her services.
Lefaoalii had been suspended while investigated by the Public Service Commission on a series of charges including abuse of power.
In a press statement last night, Lefaoalii said “I have now tendered my resignation to Cabinet, as my family and friends have counselled me that this is for the better.
“I have had a good support network during my time in the Government and I thank those who have supported me throughout my career in the Government.
“The only regret I have is the treatment from the Public Service Commission, investigating a charge of which they themselves were the complainant, ignoring fairness in the process as well as denying my guaranteed Constitutional rights in questioning my accusers. However, these things happen and my family as well as I cannot afford to stop our lives for this process but need to move on with our lives.”
First female and Samoan to be appointed Regulator
* Lefaoalii joined the Office of the Regulator in 2009 as the Manager for Spectrum Management and Technical Services before she was appointment as the Regulator in October 2015. She was reappointed for a second term in November 2018.
* She was the first Samoan to be appointed as the Regulator following two succeeding overseas based regulators.
* She is an Engineer by profession and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) from RMIT University, Melbourne Australia and a Masters of Engineering (Engineering Management) from the University of Southern Queensland, Brisbane Australia.
* She has 15 years working experience as a technical/engineer for various sectors including Broadcasting, ICT, Telecommunications Sector and Breweries.
Lefaoalii said her time with the Regulator’s Office would always be a wonderful memory for her.
She thanked the Prime Minister and the Cabinet “for the wonderful opportunity and trust in giving me this position in the first place. It has being a good journey and a wonderful opportunity to serve my country in building a new Government office.
“However, it is time for me to say my farewell and move on with my life. My family have had to sacrifice a lot for me during my time as the Regulator given the demands of the job.”
She also paid tribute “to my predecessor and former Regulator of Samoa Donnie De Freitas who passed away peacefully in Fiji last week. He was a great mentor and a major influence in my career as well as my professional development. He will be sorely missed. My condolences to Antonia, Donnitto and his family.”