The leader of the opposition Human Rights Protection Party has questioned why a contract worth $2 million tala has been awarded to Bluewave Wireless without the usual tender process required under the Government procurement process.
Bluewave Wireless, formerly known as Netvo Samoa, has been contracted to install satellite internet technology to schools across Samoa. The project aims to provide free internet for students and teachers.
The Government of Samoa’s procurement process requires a vigorous comparison of prices and quality of service delivery between vetted vendors and suppliers.
The decision to award the $2 million tala contract to Bluewave Wireless was a direct appointment and Tuilaepa says this goes against good governance principles.
In a joint press conference with the Minister of Education and the CEO of the Office of the Regulator held earlier this week – Samoa’s Regulator, Lematua Gisa Fuatai-Purcell said Bluewave Wireless was the right choice for the school sattelite project because they already had the equipment and expertise required.
According to Lematua, a tender process would have delayed the project. The decision to contract Bluewave Wireless would ensure students receive fast reliable internet without further delay.
“They have the sattelites and all they have to do is install them..”
However, Tuilaepa has hit back at what he describes as a lack of transparency and accountability, and accuses the Government of awarding contracts to family members.
Samoa’s former Prime Minister says there are connections between FAST party MPs and Bluewave Wireless and the Government needed to proceed with caution under such circumstances.
“If we follow good governance principles, then the contract should have been tendered out..”
Lematua Gisa Fuatai-Purcell said the public is assured that BlueWave Wireless have complied with all requirements including the vetting process that ensures its sustainability as a company.
“It is my duty as the Regulator to clarify any information that stems from the media or any news outlets and thereby the Office of the Regulator gives its full assurance to the people of Samoa that BlueWave Wireless has fully complied with the Office of the Regulator’s requirements to submit audited financial statements for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021,” stated Lematua.