HRPP questions $2 million tālā contract bypassing tender process


Leader of the Human Rights Protection Party, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi has questioned the $2 million tālā allocated to an internet service provider without going through the tender process.

In a letter to the Editor distributed last week, Tuilaepa said the grant of $ 2 million tālā to an insolvent service provider
without tender were evaded by the Government was questioned last week.

“Worst still the setup of satellite communications will expose our children in over 100 schools in Salafai to direct programmes that are not filtered – for the simple reason these satellite companies are not registered in Samoa and cannot, therefore, be subject to control by our education authorities and the Regulator,” claims Tuilaepa.

He pointed out that Samoa has five service providers which include Digicel which is partially owned by our National Provident
Fund, one local company (Computer Services Limited) as well as Vodafone which is partially owned by the Unit Trust Of Samoa.

Through these shareholdings our people are investing in other Pacific Islands IT where Vodafone and Digicel operate. Samoa had long moved away from satellite communications due to its being very expensive, unreliable and lacks security.

“We subsequently built our own marine cable – the Tui Samoa Cable, funded by a $US25million grant from the World Bank and ADB. It is supplemented by the Regional Manatua Cable and Vodafone operated SAS cable.

“Huge storage on the Matautu Wharf houses enough cables to maintain broken down cables in our part of the Pacific, and a maintenance ship on standby to provide help – and all these services are being ignored!
By reverting to satellite communications, Samoa is going backward,” said Tuilaepa.

Adding the satellites that were set up during the campaign period by La’auli and Faatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi Party on pastor’s residences in Savai’i and operated free without cost are now disconnected.

Tuilaepa claims the real reason is the free usage period is over and the high cost of usage will now be borne by the Government and the people of Samoa, a simple case of the Government providing $2,000,000 to an insolvent company to pay what it owes to the Government through its company CSL and the regulator.

“In Samoa, no secret can remain a secret for a long period of time. If the parents of Samoa value a Christian and cultural upbringing for their beloved offsprings, it is your responsibility and duty to do what you should do right.”