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SIC chair calls for committee’s inquiries into ARRA 1602 program

reporters@samoanews.com

Senate Investigating Committee chair, Senator Lualemaga E. Faoa issued a media release late Thursday afternoon calling for the committee to schedule further hearings into the ARRA 1602 Low Income Housing program.

Lualemaga said in the media release, “I have received numerous inquiries from the public regarding the status of the SIC investigation of the ARRA 1602 program and want to clarify future plans of the Committee. Currently there no hearings scheduled, but I believe the matter and certain compliance issues which have been identified require further investigation.”

    “As you may recall, on two occasions, the SIC scheduled 1602 hearings, one on June 27th and a second series of hearings for October 16th through the 18th. However, for whatever reasons, the Committee failed to muster a quorum and, by law, could not proceed with the hearings. I realize this is very frustrating for the public and was a major inconvenience for the witnesses who had appeared and I must apologize on behalf of the Committee.”

 “I am hopeful that before year’s end the Committee will be able to continue and complete its inquiry …” and he enumerated the points described in the ASERO report that he says, “warrant further investigation for management program compliance by Development Bank.”

BACKGROUND

Senator Lualemaga’s call coming just days before former Development Bank president Lolo Moliga faces off against Faoa Aitofele Sunia in the runoff election for governor, raises questions of motive and whether this is a move to influence the election on the Senator’s part.

In the media release he states his purpose: “Because I recognize that the public has a right to know, I am hopeful that the Committee will agree and that we can assemble a quorum to conduct these necessary hearings before the year end.” However, that doesn’t speak to the timing of the release.

The timing of the media release also brings up ethical questions on the part of Samoa News.

It is within a news organization’s purview to decide when and what to publish or broadcast. Samoa News does not think it our responsibility to manage the news for you and decide what is ‘good’ for the community to hear and read and when it is ‘good’ to hear or read it. In a changing news landscape, we do think it is our responsibility to point out inaccuracies or untruths or moral dilemmas like this one.

So, here’s where we stand; The Samoa News editorial board is not a big fan of Fox News, but we are a big fan of their slogan, “We report, you decide.” We just did, now it’s your turn.



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