Pacific News Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff

SMALL BUSINESS COMMITTEE HOLDS ROUNDTABLE

Washington, DC — Wednesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata and the Small Business Committee held a roundtable on the best ways to help veteran-owned small businesses.

The discussion focused on the aftermath of the Supreme Court case Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, which ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs must put veterans first in all of its procurement actions. The roundtable also included discussion of legislation that would help veteran-owned small businesses, including veteran-owned businesses in American Samoa.

“Many of my fellow Committee members, some of whom are veterans themselves, are committed to making sure the law is upheld and the VA is truly putting veterans first,” said House Chairman Steve Chabot. 

“I have the honor of sitting on the Veterans Affairs Committee and the Small Business Committee.  This roundtable was an excellent chance for my colleagues and I to hear directly from veteran-owned small businesses, to hear what concerns them, without all the formality of a hearing,” stated Amata. “My colleagues and I will continue to pursue legislation that will ensure that veteran owned businesses succeed.”

(Source: Congresswoman Amata’s Office, Washington D.C.)

REGIONAL FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCILS FOR 2017

June 28, 2017 — The U.S. Commerce Department today announced the appointment of 22 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage ocean fish stocks. The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on August 12.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act established the councils to prepare fishery management plans for their regions.

NOAA Fisheries works closely with the councils through this process and then reviews, approves and implements the plans. Council members represent diverse groups, including commercial and recreational fishing industries, environmental organizations and academia. They are vital to fulfilling the act’s requirements to end overfishing, rebuild fish stocks and manage them sustainably.

Each year, the Secretary of Commerce appoints approximately one-third of the total 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils. The Secretary selects members from nominations submitted by the governors of fishing states, territories and tribal governments.

Council members are appointed to both obligatory (state-specific) and at-large (regional) seats. Council members serve a three-year term and can be reappointed to serve three consecutive terms. The eight regional councils are:

New England Council — It includes members from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. 2017 appointees will fill four at-large seats.

Mid-Atlantic Council — it includes members from the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. 2017 appointees will fill obligatory seats for Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania and one at-large seat.

South Atlantic Council — members are from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. 2017 appointees will fill two at-large seats.

Caribbean Council — members are from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 2017 appointees will fill an obligatory seat for Puerto Rico.

Gulf Council — composed of members from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 2017 appointees will fill three at-large seats.

Pacific Council — members are from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The Pacific Council also includes one Tribal seat. 2017 appointees will fill an obligatory seat for Washington and one at-large seat.

North Pacific Council — it includes members from Alaska and Washington. 2017 appointees will fill obligatory seats for Alaska and Washington.

Western Pacific Council — members are from American Samoa, Guam, Hawai’i and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). 2017 appointees will fill an obligatory seat for CNMI and two at-large seats.

Obligatory seat — *John Gourley (CNMI)/ At-large seats — Eo E. Mokoma (American Samoa) and *Edwin A. Ebisui (Hawai’i)

(Source: noaa.gov)

S.N.P.F. INJECTS $35.4M INTO ECONOMY

There is great news for contributors of the Samoa National Provident Fund.

Yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of the S.N.P.F., Pauli Prince Suhren, announced a 7.2 per cent interest for this year. What that means is that starting from 1 July 2017, thousands of members will have a bit more cash in their hands to spend. 

That’s $35.4million to be exact. 

“It is an honor to announce that in accordance with Section 36 of the S.N.P.F Act 1972, the Board of Directors of the Samoa National Provident Fund has resolved to declare a rate of interest of 7.2% for the financial year ending on the 30th of June 2017,” a statement from S.N.P.F said.

“The 7.2% interest shall apply to the National Provident Fund, Judiciary Retirement Fund and the Education Fund.

“The annual interest declared shall be credited to the above accounts by close of business on the 30th of June 2017.”

There are conditions for members to be entitled to the cash.

“Contribution balance as at 1 July 2016 is the basis for the calculation of the interest declared provided that no withdrawals were made within this financial year.”

Pauli paid tribute to the hard work of the S.N.P.F Board members and the staff.

“This tremendous result is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Board, Management and Staff of the S.N.P.F to ensure that we always “put people first” resulting in the payment of $35.4 million tala as interest granted for our members this year.

“All glory and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for the abundance of his grace on the S.N.P.F and on our country Samoa.”

(Source: Samoa Observer)

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