Members of Parliament met on Monday, 16th March at 9:30am at the Maota Tofilau Eti Alesana for their scheduled Pre-Sitting Briefing on five Government Bills proposed for introduction on Tuesday 17th March 2015. Pre-Sitting briefings have been adopted by Parliament to enhance the quality and relevance of debates.
Briefings clarify policy frameworks for bills and other relevant information not previously available to Parliamentarians through Explanatory Memorandums by responsible Ministers and Chief Executive Officers. Representatives for the respective Ministries responsible for these Bills, delivered the briefings for the Parliamentarians.
Afioga Tuatagaloa Aumua Ming Leung Wai
Acts Interpretation Bill 2015
The Attorney General delivered the briefing for this Bill, the purpose of which is to repeal the current 1974 Act. It provides for basic rules for interpreting a provision of an Act, definition of words commonly used in Acts so that they are not repeated, rules which regulate operations of Acts and standard provisions commonly used in Acts.
Members of Parliament voiced their support for the proposed Bill. However, there were a few Members who raised concerns on the prevailing language as stated in the Constitution. The Attorney General took note of the comments.
Assistant Chief Executive Officer – Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture.
Teachers Bill 2015
The briefing for the proposed Teachers Bill was delivered by the Assistant Chief Executive Officer for Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture with the support of other Assistant CEO’s of the Ministry. The Bill provides for full and temporary registration of all teachers, furthermore the establishment of a Samoa Teachers Council.
Members of Parliament voiced support for the proposed Bill, however a few members raised concerns on fees for registration and appeals and the issue of breach of professional standards. These concerns were appeased upon a clarification by the Ministry. The Hon Speaker thanked the Ministry for proposing this important Bill in recognition of the teaching profession and advised the Ministry to take into consideration matters that were raised by Members.
Tifitifi Sagapolu Uitime-Fetu
Acting Chief Executive Officer – Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.
Water Schemes Bill 2015
The briefing for the proposed Water Schemes Bill was delivered by the Acting Chief Executive Officer for Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development with the support of other Assistant CEO’s of the Ministry. Provisions of the Bill provides for legal recognition of Independent Water Schemes as water service providers, established Community Water Committees, fees and maintenance of these schemes.
Members of Parliament raised concerns on the treatment and hygiene standards of these water schemes as well as the power of the Village Water Committees. The Ministry clarified the matters raised by the Members.
Aiono Mose Sua
Chief Executive Officer – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Geneva Convention Bill 2015
The briefing for the proposed Geneva Convention Bill was delivered by the Chief Executive Officer for Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Bill provides effect to certain Conventions made in Geneva that Samoa is now a party to, as well as protection to the Red Cross emblem.
Members of Parliament acknowledged the Bill and thanked the Ministry for proposing such an important Bill.
Leasi Vainalepa Galuvao
General Manager – Land Transport Authority
Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2015
The General Manager of the Land Transport Authority with the support of his Managers delivered the briefing for the proposed Road Traffic Amendment Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Roads Traffic Ordinance 1960. As per provisions of the Bill it deals with impounding and selling of impounded cars, age limit for operating a motor omnibus, removing the 5 day period for producing a drivers license upon request and other related traffic provisions.
Members of the Parliament voiced their support for the proposed Bill. However, there were a few Members who raised concerns on the impounding of cars and minimum age set for motor omnibus drivers.