AG’s office waives CI fees for Alataua group heading to Samoa
An official with the Attorney General’s office has confirmed with Samoa News that Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau has signed a waiver for the $50 fee for a Certificate of Identity for the Alataua group that will be heading to Samoa for the island-nation’s 50-year anniversary celebration in June.
The official from the AG’s office explained that this is not the first time they have waived fees for such purposes.
“The villages heading to Samoa are representing American Samoa and therefore the fees should be waived, they are there by invitation.
However, if this was a case where they are just heading to Samoa for their own personal agenda then it would be an entirely different story, but these villages are representing American Samoa,” the official said.
“Every person seeking to attain a CI must still provide the proper and sufficient documents in order to attain a certificate of identity.”
The official explained the local government also waives permit fees for those from Samoa invited to the territory for occasions such as our Flag Day celebration.
The request for the CI fee waiver for the Alataua group came from the Speaker of the House, Savali Talavou Ale, according to the AG’s office.
The Speaker confirmed with Samoa News that he had put in a request through Attorney General Fepuela’i Arthur Ripley and it was approved this week. Savali explained that close to 200 people from Alataua County are heading to Samoa in response to the invitation and because they are representing American Samoa they sought to have the CI fees waived.
Samoa News understands that only Alataua County has sought through the Attorney General’s Office to have their CI fees waived, and it’s unclear if Vailoa Village and Vatia’s cricket team have also asked for the same privilege.
Calls to AG Fepulea’i and Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau were not returned as of press time.
Counsel General Mata’afa Tomasi Esera with the Samoa Consulate General office told Samoa News the Samoa Government is also waiving the entry fees for US Nationals that are in the groups heading to Samoa for the 50-year anniversary. Mata’afa explained that they have done this in the past whenever the Samoa Government invites villages to participate in Flag Day festivities.
Mata’afa said it’s the same when Samoa citizens come to the territory by government invitation — all the fees and permits are waived, and only for these purposes.
In the meantime, Samoa Shipping has confirmed that the Lady Naomi will make two trips to take invited village participants to Samoa. The first trip will be on May 21, 2012, with the second on May 30, 2012.