Ministry moves to deal with non compliance

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Apia, Samoa.

Apia, Samoa. (Photo: File)

The Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labor (M.C.I.L.) has revived its “No Compliance Task Team.”

The team exists to deal with ongoing non-compliant issues.

These include cases where business license registrations are done under suspected accomplices (Samoan citizens), but operated by non-citizens.

It also deals with foreign employees being issued with foreign employment permits but found to be employed elsewhere.

In some cases, there is little to no action being taken against these non-citizens. 

The issues are highlighted in the M.C.I.L. Annual Report for 2016-2017. 

“This task team comprises representatives from the Ministry for Revenue and the Immigration Division of the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet together with internal divisions that include Industrial Relations, Work Permits and Occupations Safety and Health (I.R.W.P.O.S.H.) and the Registry of Companies and Intellectual Properties (R.C.I.P.). 

“This task team has been dormant for the past five years or so and was re-established during this reporting period. 

“The task team offers a platform to raise and discuss issues that relate to the non-compliance of non-citizens under the different legislations of the respective ministries. Information gathered from previous reporting periods indicated an increase in the number of non-citizens suspected to be in breach of the law,” says the report. 

 “The task team held two meetings and although in its early stages, has proven to be an efficient and effective way to also raise awareness about the different issues encountered by each agency and how best to work collaboratively on addressing them.” 

In the meantime, M.C.I.L. developed a database to gather and record updated information in their system, which are followed up on a six monthly basis, not only to ensure they are operating, but also for ease of M&E and reporting (six monthly and annually) purposes. 

opportunity for the economy through foreign investment is employment creation in which these Foreign Investment Enterprises (F.I.E.) offers. 

The inclusion of employment figures was initiated in the past three reporting periods with an estimated total of about 1,727 job opportunities created through the establishment of new F.I.E’s. 

“This reporting period has recorded a total of 266 new opportunities available to our local people. This is based on applications received which recorded a decrease from the previous FY2015/2016 of 571. 

“However, these figures are only an estimated number that the investors include when applications are received and, therefore, confirming these numbers will need to be done once inspections are carried out to physically sight these enterprises and their business operations. 

“The assumption in the decline in the number of employment creation compared to the previous FY2015/2016 is due to the registration of large companies and that usually indicates a higher number due to the number of workers needed for the construction phase or companies that were only here for a short period of time, for example, the filming of the Survivor Australian programme where a large number of employment was needed for not more than three months. 

“Further there is change in business planning due to changes in the environment once the business commences operations, therefore, some businesses may or may not employ the number indicated in the initial application,” says the report. 

It is anticipated that ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities in the new FY2017/2018 will confirm the actual number of employment opportunities as some of the new establishments are yet to be commenced. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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