Parliament convenes today with amendments to SPA Principal Act on transfer of ports


Parliament will convene this morning and one of the bills on their agenda will legitimize the transfer of the Mulifanua and Salelologa Port back to the Samoa Ports Authority from the Shipping Corporation. 

During its pre-sitting yesterday, Assistant Chief Executive Moe Lene elaborated on the proposed amendments to the Samoa Ports Authority Amendment Bill 2022 for the Members of Parliaments’ understanding. 

Minister Olo Fiti Vaai explained the rationale behind the transferral of the Ports to the Corporation back in 1998 was due to the poor financial position of the Samoa Ports Authority; however, given that the Ports Authority is currently financially stable, the transferral is fitting and appropriate. 

This is outlined in the Parliament’s pre-session report.

He said the SPA is responsible for the wharf at Apia and Asau whereas the Corporation is responsible for the Ports at Salelologa and Mulifanua and the intention to have the four main ports under one body. 

The staff responsible for the two proposed ports will also be transferred under the Authority of the Corporation along with assets as required in the Bill. 

One of the issues cited during the pre-sitting is the need for the Government to negotiate with American Samoa to have a wharf at Leone and for the Authority to make use of our port at Aleipata in order to avoid long distance travelling. 

As reported earlier, SPA in its third quarter report for the financial year 2022 achieved a net profit after tax of $2.5million during the quarter, leading to a year-to-date profit after tax of $7.4million tala. 

In the past three fiscal years, SPA has had an upward trend in financials, this is despite the impact of the measles outbreak and the Covid 19 pandemic. The Authority’s financial performance produced the second-highest Net Profit since its establishment twenty years ago.

The Authority recorded a Net Profit of $7.66 million a decrease compared to the previous financial year 2018-2019 when the profit was $8.6 million.

In other Parliament news, the leader of the Human Rights Protection Party and Secretary are expected to join the session today since May when they were suspended indefinitely in relation to their conviction on contempt of court charges.

However Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi and Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi challenged their suspension legally and the court ruled in their favour citing that Parliament’s disciplinary rules and practice do not give the persons who are the subject of adverse recommendations by the Privileges and Ethics Committee, the opportunity to be heard as to penalty before the Assembly.

“This is a failure which breaches a fundamental plank of the rules of fairness that are secured in Article 9(1) of the Constitution – the right to be heard.