10 January 2021 Apia Samoa. The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly for Samoa says the three controversial LTC Bills have been assented to by the Head of State, and copies would be available for public sale from their Mulinuu offices later this week, and will also soon be available for downloading from the Paleme o Samoa website.
In a press release headed “Response to FAST Claim” issued by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly on Friday 8 January 2021, the public is given an outline of, “the process after any bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly as per Standing Orders 110 & 111”.
“Once the Bill has been assented to by the Head of State, it becomes an Act of Parliament and the Office of the Clerk is responsible for publishing, and for the sale of Acts to the public”, reads the PR.
During the Parliamentary session where the three controversial LTC Bills were passed by an overwhelming majority vote of 41-4 sitting Members of Parliament, the four opposition MPs say they were not given complete copies of the bills and proposed amendments at the time of the third and final reading.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Fiame Naomi Mataafa continues to caution the public of her grave concerns with the newly enacted laws that ultimately led to her resignation as a member of HRPP.
The response from the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly is published in verbatim below.
RESPONSE TO FAST CLAIM:
(The following is a Press Statement issued by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly to address opinions published by the Samoa Observer’s Editorial Board on Friday, January 08th 2021 under the heading, “The irony and flaws of defending the L.T.C. laws.)
In response to the statements made by Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa regarding the 3 Bills on the Samoa Observer newspaper dated 8 January 2021 (p.4), the Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly wishes to clarify the process after any bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly as per Standing Orders 110 & 111:-
- Once a Bill has been passed in Parliament and in preparing that Bill for assent by the Head of State, amendments proposed by a Parliamentary Committee and approved by the Assembly during the Consideration in Detail (CID) and the Third Reading Stage, it shall be incorporated as part of the original bill as introduced in Parliament;
- Where a Bill has been finalized with all its amendments approved in Parliament, it is presented to the Head of State for Assent. Amendments of formal nature may be made and clerical or typographical errors may be corrected in any parts of a Bill by the Clerk;
- Once the Bill has been assented to by the Head of State, it becomes an Act of Parliament and the Office of the Clerk is responsible for publishing, and for the sale of Acts to the public.
The 3 Bills in discussion were passed in Parliament on 15th December 2020, and Printed Copies of the 3 Bills were presented and already being assented to by the Head of State.
Copies of the 3 Acts have been distributed to its mandatory parties as per Standing Orders 112, (i.e. Secretary of the Head of State, Attorney General, Registrar of the Supreme Court and the Minister responsible for administering these Legislations). The 3 Acts of Parliament shall be made available for sale to the public at our Office in Mulinu’u next week and will be on our website shortly.