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IS IT TRUE?

fili@samoanews.com

…that Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Sialega Mauga and their families are not occupying their official government homes? If so, how much are we tax payers forking out to pay for them to live in their own homes?
 
IU ANSWERS
 
The governor’s executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira said Monday this week that “the governor and lieutenant governor are now occupying the designated residences for these two posts, although more repairs are needed to improve living conditions” in the government homes. He didn’t elaborate on the types of repairs needed.
 
Additionally, “the governor and lieutenant governor did not receive any compensation while occupying their own homes,” said Iulogologo.
 
After taking the helm of government on Jan. 3, the two elected leaders of ASG were unable to move into their government homes due to emergency repairs that needed to be done, as well as getting the homes furnished.
 
The governor and his family traditionally occupy the historical government house at Maugaoali’i and the lieutenant governor and his family take the Lieutenant Governor’s official residence across the street from Sadie’s by the Sea.
 
(Samoa News understands the governor's mansion was 'empty' after the former governor and first lady moved out; while the lieutenant governor's home was not recently occupied by the former office holder and therefore also 'empty'.)
 
The governor's office said, neither Lolo nor Lemanu wanted to be compensated for using their own homes, especially at a time when ASG is faced with an unhealthy financial future. 
 
Besides the annual salary of $85,000, the governor is entitled to other perks provided by law including, but not limited to: the rent-free use of Government House — the Governor’s official residence in Fagatogo; the free use of vehicles for executive, ceremonial duties and family use; and a reasonable food, beverage and entertainment budget for the official residence specified by line item in the Governor’s annual fiscal budget, according to local statute.
 
The lieutenant governor is entitled to an annual salary of $75,000 a year and other compensation as provided by law, including rent-free government quarters, and free use of a vehicle for executive, ceremonial duties and family use.
 



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