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Ministry of Health Administration Staff warned over unauthorized overtime

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 20 MARCH 2023: Warning letters have been issued to several staff of the Human Resources and Payroll division of the Ministry of Health. The letters dated 28th February 2023, follow allegations of unauthorized overtime claimed and failure to complete required overtime documentation.

Overtime pay out has been one of the longstanding issues within the Ministry with medical staff complaining about unpaid overtime that date back to major situations such as the 2019 measles epidemic and the Covid-19 pandemic a year later.

However, the incidence of unauthorized overtime of some of the Administration Staff came to light after a pre-audited report was ordered late last year.

The Director General of Health, Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma said since the findings of the pre-audit report, a full audit has been ordered for the Ministry’s finances and a full report is expected soon.

He also confirmed that no request has been put forward to the Public Service Commission (PSC) yet for an investigation.

Aiono confirmed that there has not been an audited report since the National Health Services (NHS) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) merged in January 2018.

He said it is not easy to adapt to new changes but believes the staff can get used to them when mechanisms are put in place and practiced.