The $2.60 million water bill the Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A.) had requested to be written off includes debts incurred by Government Ministries, senior Government officials, schools, churches and businesses.
Including in the write off list are bills allegedly incurred by the S.W.A. Board Chairman Matatauali’itia Afa Lesa, and the Associate Minister for Revenue and Prisons and Correction Services, Lenata’i Victor Tamapua among others.
Their outstanding bills were highlighted in records provided by the Samoa Water Authority C.E.O, Seugamaali’i Jammie Saena, which was part of correspondence dated 22 May 2018 to the Parliamentary Infrastructure Sector Committee.
Matatauali’itia has a bill of $2,210 and Lenata’i $3,880.25
The Samoa Observer contacted Matatauali’itia at his Accounting office in Apia three times for comment.
But an office staff, who refused to give his name, referred the newspaper to the Samoa Water Authority.
“The old man said to call the Samoa Water Authority about the bills,” he said.
Seugamaali’i has not responded to emails sent to her while the Assistant Chief Executive Officer and Acting C.E.O. Tafeamaalii Philip Kerslake refused to comment when contacted last week.
This newspaper was able to get through to Lenata’i, who explained that while the account is under his name, the bill was incurred by a couple who lived on his land in Lalovaea.
“I have already gone to the Water Authority to sort it out,” he said in an interview with this newspaper.
Last week, the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi brushed off concerns about the move by the Samoa Water Authority to write-off the outstanding water bills, saying the practice is not new.
He said the policy to write-off water bills has been in place since the beginning of the Samoa Government, but the authority to accept or write-off the bills ultimately rests with the Parliament.
According to the list, water bills incurred by private and public schools amount to $16,736.81, churches $27,380.09, Government ministries and corporations $39,159.63, businesses and organisations $68,113.75 and individuals $2.45 million.
The Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure has an outstanding of $5,732 and while $6,953.94 is the bill for public toilets overseen by the Accident Compensation Corporation.
The outstanding bills documentation also makes reference to a “Samoan Land (1st restaurant)” that has a $6,539.80 outstanding.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s outstanding is $1,153.88, Ofisa Faigafaiva $2,000, Ministry of Communication $4.282 and the Post Office $5,689.29 in arrears.
For educational institutions, the Lalomanu Education Department owes $2,394.80, Fatuvalu Junior High $2,366.41, Methodist preschool $1,438.50, Sa’anapu Tai Pre School $1,956.60, Primary Schools of Sapapali’i $1,434.49 and Vailima $300, Sapapali’i Primary School #2 $1,794 and Vaimauga Junior Secondary school #2 $5,030.
For the churches, the Catholic Church (#36746) owes $1,003.50 but the list does not specify which village. Another Catholic Church (#30184) owes $1,089, Methodist Church ($25170) $1,656.50, Kingdom of God (#18893) $1,783.50, E.F.K.S. 2 (#34205) $1,965.70, Methodist Church (34089) $3,250 and Samoa Independent S.D.A. Church (#19143) and E.F.K.S. Atina’e (#21426). The list further states that C.C.C. Church (#21338) owes $2,288.50 and Jehovah’s Witness (#10312) $540 and Samoa Christian Church (#31419) $420.
In terms of businesses, P.L.T. Consultants owes $12,160 followed by Samoa Tropical $11, 994 and Petroleum Product Supplies $9,071.76. Women’s Committee owes (#24405) $6,036.10 while another Women’s Committee (#25179) $3,768.62 in total. Moatoga Beach Resort owes $2,016.67 and Shaw Construction $2,256.02 in total. Other businesses included in the list is the Town Hall (#29541), MMAL Tech Limited $1,353.39 and Aggie Grey’s Hotel Limited (#26003) $2,360.
Others include Ace Reminders $5,890, Bluesky Samoa $858.83, Falanik Bourne water bill of $736 and Apia Businesses Machines $366.81 in total.