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Parliamentary Sitting Summary (August 23rd)

Parliamentary Sitting Summary (August 23rd)

The Assembly reconvened on Tuesday 23rd October, 2016. The following summary provides an overview of business which was put before the Assembly, Members who participated in debates and various issues which were raised in regards to particular Bills.

  • 4 Annual Reports were tabled in accordance with Standing Order 49 by the Office of the Ombudsman, the Samoa Law Reform Commission, the Public Trust Office and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
  • S.R 2016/5 Prisons and Corrections Regulations 2014 was tabled.
  • Other reports tabled included the Ombudsman’s State of Human Rights Report – Persons with Disabilities, the Alcohol Reform Report 15/16 from the Samoa Law Reform Commission and the Government’s Public Accounts for the Financial Year ended 30 June 2015.
  • 24 Parliamentary Committee Reports were tabled in accordance with Standing Order 52(5); these reports included 6 from the Finance and Expenditure Committee; 6 from the Economic Sector Committee; 5 from the Standing Orders, Electoral, Petitions and Constitutional Offices Committee; 4 from the Social Sector Committee and 3 from the Infrastructure Committee.
  • 2 Bills were considered in detail, the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 and the Bankruptcy Amendment Bill 2016. These Bills were also third read thereby passing the Assembly to become law upon assent.

Overview of Bills considered by the Assembly:

I. The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 was considered in detail together with its respective Parliamentary Committee report, and third read. Members who spoke on the Bill included:

  1. Hon TUILAEPA Auelua Fatialofa Lupesoliai Lolofietele Neioti Aiono Galumalemana Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP);
  2. OLO Fiti Afoa Vaai, Member for Salega East (Independent);
  3. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (HRPP);
  4. Hon GATOLOAIFAANA Amataga Alesana-Gidlow, Chairperson for the Social Sector Committee and Member for Faasaleleaga No.1 (HRPP); and
  5. Hon AEAU Peniamina Leavaiseeta, Member for Falealupo (Independent).
  • Issues raised by Members included the following:
  1. the Member for Salega East queried whether the Committee had taken into account, upon the drafting of its proposed amendments, the effect the Bill would have on other relevant laws, such as the Electoral laws;
  2. the Hon Prime Minister emphasised that the Bill’s overarching purpose was to permit eligible sports people of Samoan descent to gain Samoan citizenship to represent the country in various sporting events; and
  3. the Member for Faleata West queried why the lineage entitlement did not extend to great grandparents, to which the Chairperson of the Committee Hon GATOLOAIFAANA stated that the Bill’s provisions are merely a first step and that control mechanisms must still be observed to ensure the entitlement is not abused.

II. The Bankruptcy Amendment Bill 2016 was considered in detail together with its respective Parliamentary Committee report, and third read. Members who spoke on the Bill included:

  1. LEALAILEPULE Rimoni Aiafi, Member for Faleata West (HRPP);
  2. ALIIMALEMANU Alofa Tuuau, Chairperson of the Finance and Expenditure Committee and Member for Alataua West (HRPP); and
  3. Hon TUILAEPA Auelua Fatialofa Lupesoliai Lolofietele Neioti Aiono Galumalemana Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Member for Lepa (HRPP).
  • Issues raised by Members included the following:
  1. the Member for Faleata West queried the status of bankrupts who flee the country, leaving their guarantors to service their outstanding debts under the Bill; and
  2. the Hon Prime Minister noted the various ways in which one may become bankrupt and the multitude of reasons why bankrupts may choose to flee the country.

Parliamentary proceedings were adjourned at 11:18am and will reconvene at 9:00am, Tuesday 18 October 2016.

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