Samoa Audit Office (SAO) commemorated Public Service (PSC) Day on Friday, 2nd October 2020 with a brief thanksgiving service to the Almighty Lord by ACAG Jaslyn Mariner-Leota and Director Vaofusi. The theme reading from the scriptures was from the book of Psalms 23.
This was followed by a ceremony acknowledging long serving staff members for their years of service to the Government. These staff members include:
1. Mrs Karamellie Tuala from 1977
2. Mr Sau Fua Maota since 2002
3. Mrs Vinona Feagai also since 2002
4. Mr Faamatuainu Dennis Magraff since 1998
5. Mrs Taililinomaiamoa Violet Roebeck-Fasavalu from 1999
6. Mrs Jaslyn Mariner - Leota, Assistant Controller & Auditor General since 2002
7. Mr Fuimaono Camillo Afele, Controller and Auditor General (CAG) joined SAO since 1996. He took over from Tamaseu Leni Warren in 2010 as Controller and Auditor General. Fuimaono completed the Institutional Strengthening Program (ISP) under his leadership as well as many reforms and is a member of the Governing Board of INCOSAI.
A presentation on the history of the Audit Office since its establishment (first audit conducted in Samoa was 1915) was carried out. It was noted from the presentation that there were very few staff members and limited resources in the beginning. The Office also faced many challenges and obstacles and have since accomplished many achievements with the ISP. This year marks Fuimaonos ten year of service as the head of SAI Samoa. The Office has grown with a number of 48 staff members, establishment of other audit stream like Performance Audit, IT Audit, Compliance Audit, Special Audit Division in addition to our traditional Financial Audit engagements.
A staff activity was conducted for each staff member to appreciate and check-in on each other.
Unveiling of two walls for the office was also part of the program. These walls are meant to provide inspiration and motivation for current and future staff of SAO. The Pioneers Wall has a statue of the Divine Mercy. It will later show a history of past and current leaders of SAO. The Wall of Honour comprises of those who have completed their Masters programs, namely
- Fuimaono Camillo Afele –Master of Public Policy and Management - Monash University - 2007
- Norris Mitchell – Master of Commerce – Charles Sturt University – 2019
- Petelo Leota – Master of Networking and System Administration, CSU – 2019
- Roseanne Faaiu – Master of Business Administration, CSU – 2020
- Annie Leitupo – Master of Auditing – Nanjing University – 2018
- Malili Chou Lee – Master of Auditing – Nanjing University – 2019
- Frances Iosefa – Master of Auditing – Nanjing University – 2019
- Afulilo Leao Tuitama – Master of Auditing – Nanjing University – 2020
- Faamaile Latu – Master of Auditing – Nanjing University - 2020
- Grace Mulitalo-Mitchell - Masters in Professional Accounting - 2020
The highlight of the day was when CAG shared a few words of experience, wisdom and encouragement on his time with SAO. 14 staff members still remain at the office since 2010. The backlog has been removed from 10 years of outstanding work and therefore have achieved timeliness. All government audits have been updated and reported to parliament. There have been many changes in the structure of the office from the ISP. Auditors have been specialized with units in place. Communication among all levels have been explored and encouraged. Loyalty is an important attribute that has brought the SAO journey to where it is now.
The launch of the Jerusalema Challenge taken by SAO on PSC Day is dedicated to all fellow public workers and officials in Samoa and overseas as well as our fellow Supreme Audit Institutions around the world. The song was chosen as a dance of hope for better days. As ACAG Jaslyn stated in the video "SAO hope to encourage all fellow public officials and auditors around the world to continue to work together to assure good and ethical governance and assure the quality of life of humanity during this unprecedented time presented by the Covid-19 pandemic".