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Speaker warns Opposition Leader of putting down Parliament’s work

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 15 MARCH 2023: The Speaker of Parliament, Papali’i Li’o Ta’eu Masipa’u has warned the Leader of the Opposition, Lauofo Pierre Lauofo and Members of Parliament against belittling the work of Parliament.

The Speakers main concern was the Opposition Leader’s media interview last weekend where it was implied that the discussion of various government ministries annual reports was “wasting Parliament’s time.”

The Speaker however said that Lauofo did not utter the exact words, but believed Lauofo must have implied it hence the interviewer’s question.

The Speaker said such words could give a wrong impression to the public that “it was a waste of time for Parliament to sit.”

He pointed out that the Opposition Leader was a Parliamentary appointment and it is his duty to protect the honour and integrity of Parliament.

Lauofo acknowledged the Speakers notice and informed Parliament of his response to the reporter’s question that Parliament work was of utmost importance.


Opposition Leader, Lauofo Pierre Lauofo.

MPs support open discussion of Parliamentary Committee reports
Almost every MP that spoke emphasized the value of the Committees report and two Opposition MPs spoke in length about the importance of discussing such reports openly as a way of monitoring the performance of the government ministries on the specific period being reported.

Opposition MP, Sulamanaia Tauiliili Tuivasa thanked the Speaker for the chance to discuss the reports as members of the public were listening in as well as the public servants.

Opposition MP for Alataua West, Aliimalemanu Alofa Tu’u’au cited two reasons why she felt it was important for Parliament to openly discuss any report.

One was to highlight the work and performance of all Government Ministries and Corporations and secondly, to inform the public of the responsibilities and tasks each Government entity is responsible for.

For the past 25 years, under the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) leadership, the Parliamentary Committee recommendations on the Ministries annual reports ports were hardly discussed or debated openly in Parliament.

The Speaker said from the 12th to 14th Parliament, the Parliamentary Committees reports were tabled but the Government responses were not debated at that time.

Then for the 14th and 15th Parliament, only the Parliamentary Committees recommendations were tabled before Parliament but the report and details of the Committees investigation were never discussed openly.

Papali’i clarified the method used by the previous Government was for MPs to submit written questions on the reports then they will they got a response from the Government.

“The country and members of the public were not fully aware of the content of the annual reports and the Parliamentary Committees work to investigate and recommend for the government action,” said Papali’i.

“But that has changed since the FAST Government took office,” said Papali’i.

Hence the two week long session dedicated to discussing the reports to measure the performance of the government ministries in the years reported.

Parliament rose yesterday to reconvene 30 May for the budget session.