Sen Magalei aims to challenge AG’s opinion

Senator Magalei Logovii is not taking the Attorney General’s word regarding the sunset provision in the law authorizing the Retirement Fund to loan $20 million to ASG back in 2008.

He says the omission of the sunset provision in laws cited by the AG, doesn’t mean that requirements of the law for repealing the sunset clause were followed.

Senator Magalei told KHJ News this morning he is going to challenge the AG’s position.

It’s his firm belief that in order for the sunset provision to be repealed, it must be expressly stated in the bill for the $20 million loan.

From his recollection that was never done.

And he is talking to the Governor’s Office attorney who drafted the loan legislation, at the time, Toetasi Tuiteleleapaga to confirm his belief.

Magalei maintains that the administration bill seeking to increase the cap on local investment by the Retirement Fund from 17% to 35% in in error.

And he says it’s the AG’s job to ensure that the proposed bill  is legally sound and not in conflict with existing laws.

Though the bill to raise the cap on local investment did not pass the Senate, it is pending in committee in the House of Representatives.

The bill has been assigned to the Retirement Committee chaired by Rep. Vailoata Amituanai.

Speaker Savali Talavou Ale told KHJ News last week that they’ll know early this week when a hearing on the bill will be scheduled.

Some members of the House are hoping that the bill will not be acted on in this session as they are getting ready for the mid term elections in November.

Members of the Fund have taken to social media and  news websites for KHJ News and Samoa News to express their opposition in the Fund granting another loan to the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority.

ASTCA’s proposed FY2019 budget includes $18.2 million which the authority hopes to loan from the Retirement Fund to pay for the Hawaiki Cable.

A group of Fund members are discussing possible legal action against the Retirement Fund Board to stop the loan.