27 July, 2017
Parliamentary Sitting Summary 21 June- 4 July 2017

Parliamentary Sitting Summary 21 June- 4 July 2017

21June – 27 June 2017

The Assembly reconvened on Wednesday 21st June at 9:00am to begin second reading debates on the Appropriation Bill 2017/2018. Parliament sat from 21st – 23rd, 26th – 27th June, and 4th – 5th July 2017. The following summary provides an overview of the business put before the Assembly, Members who participated in debates and various issues which were raised in regards to particular Bills.

  • 5 Annual Reports were tabled in accordance with Standing Order 49 by the Ministry of Health; Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment; Public Service Commission; and the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration.
  • 3 Parliamentary Committee Reports were tabled in accordance with Standing Order 52(5). These reports included 2 from the Standing Orders, Electoral, Petitions and Constitutional Offices Committee; and 1 from the Finance and Expenditure Committee.
  • 2 Regulations were tabled, namely the SR 2017/6, Telecommunications (Customer Protection) Rules 2017; and S.R. 2017/7, Professional Engineers (Registrations) Regulations 2017
  • 7 Bills were first read, namely the, Income Tax Amendment Bill 2017; Excise Tax Rates Amendment Bill 2017; Conventional Arms Bill 2017; Police Service Amendment Bill 2017; Sex Offenders Registration Bill 2017; Film Production (Tax Incentives) Bill 2017; and the Energy Efficiency Bill 2017.
  • 7 Bills were considered in detail: the Appropriation Bill 2017/2018; Income Tax Amendment Bill 2017; Excise Tax Rates Amendment Bill 2017; Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2017; Casino and Gambling Control Amendment Bill 2017; Customs Tariff Amendment Bill 2017; and Public Service Amendment Bill 2017
  • The 7 Bills which were considered in detail were third read and passed the Assembly on the same day.
  • 8 Bills were second read, namely the Appropriation Bill 2017/2018; Income Tax Amendment Bill 2017; Excise Tax Rates Amendment Bill 2017; Conventional Arms Bill 2017; Police Service Amendment Bill 2017; Sex Offenders Registration Bill 2017; Film Production (Tax Incentives) Bill 2017; and the Energy Efficiency Bill 2017.

Overview of Bills considered by the Assembly:

The Appropriation Bill 2017/2018 was considered by the Assembly on sitting days 1 to 4. Second reading debates began on Wednesday 21st June and concluded on Monday 26th June 2017. The Bill was second read, considered in detail and third read on Monday 26th June during Parliament’s night sitting. Members who spoke on the Bill were:

DAY 1:

  1. TOLEAFOA Ken Vaafusuaga Poutoa – Member for Lefaga and Faleaseela
  2. FAUMUINA Asi Pauli Wayne Fong – Member for Urban West
  3. SULAMANAIA Fetaiai Tauiliili Tuivasa – Member for Vaimauga East
  4. LEAANA Ronnie Posini – Member for Safata West
  5. ILI Setefano Taateo Tafili – Member for Aana Alofi No.2
  6. TAPULESATELE Mauteni Metuli II Esera – Member for Vaisigano No.2
  7. FAAULUSAU Rosa Duffy Stowers – Member for Gagaifomauga No. 3
  8. OLO Fiti Afoa Vaai – Member for Salega East
  9. FUIMAONO Teo Samelu Teo – Member for Falealili East
  10. TOOMATA Aki Tuipea – Member for Salega West
  11. FAALOGO Iosefa Sopi – Member for Siumu
  12. AUMUA Isaia Lameko – Member for Falealili West
  13. NAFOITOA Talaimanu Keti – Member for Gagaemauga No.3
  14. LOPAOO Natanielu Mua – Member for Vaisigano No.1
  15. FAUMUINA Tiatia Faaolatane Liuga – Member for Palauli le Falefa

DAY 2:

  1. FAUMUINA Tiatia Faaolatane Liuga – Member for Palauli le Falefa
  2. LAUOFO Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo – Member for Anoamaa West
  3. TAFUA Maluelue Tafua – Member for Aleipata Itupa i Lalo
  4. PAU Sefo Taumata Pau – Member for Faasaleleaga No.2
  5. TAEFU Lemi – Member for Falelatai and Samatau
  6. ALAIASA Moefaauouo Sepulona Moananu – Member for Anoamaa East
  7. PESETA Vaifou Tevagaena – Member for Faasaleleaga No.4
  8. SALAUSA John Ah Ching – Member for Faleata East
  9. TUIFAASISINA Misa Lisati Leleisiuao Palemene – Member for Palauli East
  10. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi – Member for Falealili West
  11. LENATAI Victor Tamapua – Member for Vaimauga West No.1
  12. TOFA Foleni Lio Tama Galu – Member for Faasaleleaga No.3
  13. MULIPOLA Leiataua Laki – Member for Aiga i le Tai
  14. ALIIMALEMANU Alofa Tuuau – Member for Alataua West and Chairperson for the Finance and Expenditure Committee
  15. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa
  16. AFAMASAGA Lepuiai Rico Tupai, Minister of Communication and Information Technology and Member for Aana Alofi No.3
  17. Hon FAAOLESA Katopau Ainuu, Minister of Justice Courts and Administration and Member for Vaimauga West No.2
  18. Hon LOAU Sola Keneti Sio, Minister of Education Sports and Culture and Member for Sagaga le Falefa
  19. Hon SILI Epa Tuioti, Minister of Finance and Member for Faasaleleaga No.1 East

 

DAY 3:

  1. Hon SILI Epa Tuioti, Minister of Finance and Member for Faasalelega No. 1 East
  2. Hon FAIMALOTOA Kika Iemaima Stowers Ah Kau, Minister of Women, Community and Social Development and Member for Gagaifomauga No.1
  3. Hon TIALAVEA Fea Leniu Tionisio, Minister for Revenue and Member for Vaa o Fonoti.
  4. Hon LAAULI Leuatea Polataivao, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Member for Gagaifomauga No.3
  5. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa

 

DAY 4:

  1. Hon LAAULI Leuatea Polataivao, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Member for Gagaifomauga No.3
  2. LOPAOO Natanielu Mua – Member for Vaisigano No.1
  3. FAUMUINA Asi Pauli Wayne Fong, Member for Urban West
  4. Hon PAPALIITELE Niko Lee Hang, Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure and Member for Urban East
  5. FONOTOE Pierre Lauofo – Member for Anoamaa West
  6. ALAIASA Moefaauouo Sepulona Moananu – Member for Anoamaa East
  7. PAU Sefo Taumata Pau – Member for Faasaleleaga No.2
  8. FAUMUINA Tiatia Faaolatane Liuga – Member for Palauli le Falefa
  9. LEAANA Ronnie Posini, Member for Safata West
  10. Hon SALA Fata Pinati, Minister for Tourism and Member for Gagaemauga No.1
  11. OLO Fiti Afoa Vaai – Member for Salega East
  12. Hon TUITAMA Talalelei Tuitama, Minister of Health and Member for Aana Alofi No.1 East
  13. Hon LAUTAFI Fio Selafi Purcell, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour and Member for Satupaitea
  14. Hon FIAME Naomi Mataafa, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and Member for Lotofaga
  15. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa

Issues raised by Members included:

  1. Infrastructural developments in all constituencies, particularly road repairs, the construction of access roads, seawalls, bridges, and school buildings;
  2. The construction of proper drainage to counter effects of heavy rainfall and flooding;
  3. The underlying meaning and implications of this year’s Budget: “Equity and Fairness” and the contribution of everyone in the development of Samoa;
  4. Renewable energy, particularly solar energy and its long-term benefits on Samoa;
  5. Water supply in various villages/constituencies and the Independent water scheme;
  6. Agricultural issues, particularly expanding the export markets for our products; taro and breadfruit;
  7. Development of the Salelologa wharf, so that cargo ships can come through Savaii to conduct trade rather than having Savaii containers of agricultural products shipped to Apia before it can be exported to overseas markets;
  8. Packaging facilities needed for Savaii, and at SROS for proper storage of goods for export;
  9. Tourism issues;
  10. Implement control measures to reduce littering in town areas and around Samoa;
  11. Shortage of teachers;
  12. Quality of services provided at the hospital and upgrade resources used to care for patients;
  13. the development of Salelologa, relocate all government ministries, offices and businesses to Salelologa for convenience and easier access;
  14. creating more employment opportunities, so family members do not travel to Upolu in search of better opportunities;
  15. Gratitude expressed to the Minister of Finance, the Ministry and the Government for having no supplementary appropriation bill for this FY.
  16. Unemployment issues;
  17. Child-vendor issues, what is the underlying cause and possible solutions;
  18. Create some form of filter on websites which are harmful to the youth;
  19. The impacts of the services offered by telecommunication companies, free text and free minutes;
  20. Consider the need for ‘school inspectors’
  21. Creating other avenues to earn revenue for development projects;
  22. Capital gains tax;
  23. The government’s efforts in reducing expenses and increasing revenue;
  24. The relationship between Village councils and the community;
  25. Leasing of land to foreign investors; and
  26. Competition between local and foreign entrepreneurs.

The Assembly then considered the Appropriation Bill 2017/2018 in detail before it was third read and passed the Legislative Assembly. Government Orders of the Day continued with the first reading of 7 Bills, 2 introduced under Certificate of Urgency (C.O.U)

 

DAY 4 continued

After the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2017; Excise Tax Rates Amendment Bill 2017; Conventional Arms Bill 2017; Police Service Amendment Bill 2017; Sex Offenders Register Bill 2017; Film Production (Tax Incentives) Bill 2017; and the Energy Efficiency Bill 2017 were first read, the Assembly proceeded to have the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2017 second read by the Hon Minister for Revenue, TIALAVEA Fea Leniu Tionisio Hunt.

The Hon Minister delivered a clarification statement on the Bill, before deliberations commenced;

  1. INCOME TAX AMENDMENT BILL 2017

Members who spoke on the Bill included:

  1. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa
  2. TAFUA Maluelue Tafua – Member for Aleipata Itupa i Lalo

Issues raised by Members included:

  1. other avenues to be used to gain revenue rather than taxing religious ministers;
  2. Equal treatment for all Samoans, noting that paying taxes is ones individual contribution to the development of Samoa;

 

DAY 5:

Government Orders of the day commenced with the second reading debates continued on the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2017

Members who spoke on the Bill included:

  1. LOPAOO Natanielu Mua – Member for Vaisigano No.1
  2. LAUOFO Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo – Member for Anoamaa West
  3. Hon TIALAVEA Fea Leniu Tionisio Hunt, Minister for Revenue and Member for Vaa o Fonoti;
  4. SULAMANAIA Fetaiai Tauiliili Tuivasa – Member for Vaimauga East
  5. FAUMUINA Asi Pauli Wayne Fong – Member for Urban East
  6. AUMUA Isaia Lameko – Member for Falealili West
  7. OLO Fiti Afoa Vaai – Member for Salega East
  8. FAUMUINA Tiatia Faaolatanae Liuga – Member for Palauli le Falefa
  9. PESETA Vaifou Tevagaena – Member for Faasaleleaga No.4
  10. ALAIASA Sepulona Moananu – Member for Anoamaa East
  11. FUIMAONO Samuelu Teo – Member for Falealili East
  12. Hon TUILAEPA Fatialofa Lupesoliai Aiono Neioti Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa

Issues raised by Members included:

  1. To have offerings made by the congregation taxed rather than the religious minister’s themselves;
  2. Quoting biblical scriptures which clarified that everyone must pay taxes;
  3. Disagreement with the practice of making offerings known to the congregation; and
  4. offerings and charitable acts should be done in confidence and made secretive.

The Income Tax Amendment Bill 2017 was considered in detail then third read and passed the Legislative Assembly.

  1. EXCISE TAX RATES AMENDMENT BILL 2017

Hon TIALAVEA Fea Leniu Tionisio Hunt clarified the Bill, no members spoke on the bill; therefore the bill was considered in detail, third read and passed the Assembly.

  1. CONVENTIONAL ARMS BILL 2017

In the absence of the Hon Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. FIAME Naomi Mataafa clarified the Bill and deliberations commenced;

Members who spoke on the Bill included:

  1. Hon FIAME Naomi Mataafa, Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Lotofaga
  2. LOPAOO Natanielu Mua – Member for Vaisigano No.1
  3. FAUMUINA Tiatia Faaolatane Liuga – Member for Palauli le Falefa

Issues raised by Members included:

  1. Screening process for weapons brought into our shores;
  2. Storage facility for these weapons to be safe and secure; and
  3. advised Government to look at resources which can be used to manufacture weapons

The Conventional Arms Bill 2017 was second read and referred to the Social Sector Committee.

  1. POLICE SERVICE AMENDMENT BILL 2017

The Deputy Prime Minister delivered the clarification statement on the Bill, then deliberations began;

Members who spoke on the Bill included:

  1. Hon FIAME Naomi Mataafa, Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Lotofaga
  2. NAFOITOA Talaimanu Keti – Member for Gagaemauga No.3
  3. PAU Sefo Taumata Pau – Member for Faasaleleaga No.2
  4. LOPAOO Natanielu Mua – Member for Vaisigano No.1
  5. FAUMUINA Asi Pauli Wayne Fong – Member for Urban West
  6. ALAIASA Moefaauouo Sepulona Moananu – Member for Anoamaa East

Issues raised by Members included:

  1. Establish a Deputy Commissioner position for the Savaii Police office
  2. To consider other positions to rotate the Assistant Commissioners to, rather than making them redundant when their contracts have expired.
  3. Allowing ‘overseas’ applicants to apply to the position of Deputy Commissioner;
  4. Request for a police office to be stationed in the constituency of Anoamaa East

The Police Service Amendment Bill 2017 was second read and referred to the Social Sector Committee

 

  1. SEX OFFENDERS REGISTRATION BILL 2017

The Deputy Prime Minister clarified the Bill, there were no deliberations, and the Bill was second read and referred to the Social Sector Committee.

 

  1. FILM PRODUCTION (TAX INCENTIVES) BILL 2017

The Minister for Revenue clarified the Bill before deliberations began;

Members who spoke on the Bill included:

  1. TIALAVEA Fea Leniu Tionisio Hunt, Minister for Revenue
  2. TAFUA Maluelue Tafua – Member for Aleipata Itupa i Lalo
  3. AUMUA Isaia Lameko – Member for Falealili West
  4. LEAANA Ronnie Posini – Member for Safata West
  5. PAU Sefo Taumata Pau – Member for Faasaleleaga No.2

Issues raised by Members included:

  1. To introduce measures which determined how much the film producers spent in Samoa;
  2. consult with film producers to have the name of Samoa showcased on their series/film so that viewers can easily identify where the film was produced;
  3. Screening process of films to be carried out thoroughly, before any application is accepted, to ensure there are no inappropriate films produced in Samoa; and
  4. to encourage more film producers in the country so that another film can be produced in Savaii.

The Film Production (Tax Incentives) Bill 2017 was second read and referred to the Economic Sector Committee

 

Tuesday 4th July 2017

On Tuesday, July 4th 2017, the Assembly reconvened at 9:00am and resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole Assembly (CWA) to consider Parliamentary Committee Reports and Government Responses.

A total of 14 Committee Reports with recommendations were considered by the CWA, and received Government Responses.

The following lists the different papers the Parliamentary Committees reported on; and received responses from the Government.

Standing Orders, Electoral, Petitions and Constitutional Offices Committee

  1. Annual Report of the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for the FY 2013-2015
  2. Office of the Ombudsman Report on the State of Human Rights – Persons with Disabilities

Finance and Expenditure Committee

  1. Annual Report of the Samoa Life Assurance Corporation (SLAC) for the FY 2015.
  2. Annual Report of the Development Bank of Samoa for the FY 2014
  3. Annual Report of the Samoa Housing Corporation for the FY 2015

Economic Sector Parliamentary Committee

  1. Annual Report of the Polynesian Airlines Limited for the FY 2015.
  2. Annual Report of the Samoa Post Office for the FY 2015
  3. Annual Report of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour for the FY 2015
  4. Annual Report of the SROS for the FY 2015

Social Sector Parliamentary Committee

  1. Annual Report of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture for the FY 2014/2015
  2. Annual Report of the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development for the FY 2015

Infrastructure Sector Committee

  1. Annual Report of the Electric Power Corporation for the FY 2014
  2. Annual Report of the Office of the Regulator for the Years 2012, 2013 and 2014
  3. Annual Report for the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority for the FY 2014/2015

The Committee of the Whole adjourned its proceedings and the Sergeant at Arms placed the Mace on the table allowing for proceedings of the Assembly to resume.

 

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