A raft of revenue-gathering ideas including marketing strategies, have been put to the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority (S.S.F.A.) in a bid to make use of the legacy of the 2007 South Pacific Games facilities.
Collection of outstanding debts, the naming rights for sports facilities and the pre-payment of sporting fields were some of the issues discussed during the motion to approve the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority’s, annual report.
Last week, Infrastructure Sector Committee Chairman, Tafua Maluelue Tafua, moved to approve the committee’s recommendations on the Annual Report.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, read out the responses by the S.S.F.A. following recommendations submitted by the Committee.
One issue was the need for S.S.F.A. to follow up and encourage the collection of outstanding debts from other sporting bodies.
Tuilaepa explained the Board of Directors had reviewed the outstanding list of debtors and has ruled accordingly.
“The Authority has renewed its lease agreement with all the sporting bodies using its facilities and will try to keep its collections current in accordance with the agreement.”
However Tuilaepa pointed out to the Members of Parliament, all sports associations are in debt and the only association that gained some profit was the Cricket association.
The Prime Minister also commented on the prices to utilize the sporting fields as too high and suggested the Authority should consider reducing the rental prices to allow the public to make use of these buildings and fields. Another recommendation for additional revenues was the issue of naming rights for sports facilities.
Tuilaepa stated the Authority is in the process of submitting proposals to various companies soliciting interest on this new initiative.
“We have yet to hear from these companies but will submit them to the Board in due course before forwarding them to Cabinet for a final decision.”
Tuilaepa noted these avenues are being explored under the administration of the Authority in order to claim additional revenues.
“Including Apia Park, that should be a priority” he said.
Another issue which needs addressing is for the Authority to enforce the standing policy on pre-payment of sporting fields before permission is granted for usage.
According to Tuilaepa, the Authority notes the recommendation and it will be adhered to.
“Corrective action has now been undertaken,” said Tuilaepa.
Furthermore the Committee noted the sporting facilities should be advertised overseas to organisations like the United Nations for instance for international competitions to take place in our country for additional revenue.
The Authorities took note of that matter.
The Committee also advocated for S.S.F.A. to comply with reporting requirements and the submission of Annual Reports to Parliament as specified under the Public Bodies Act 2001.
“Recommendation noted and this will be strictly followed. Corrective actions have been put in place to ensure reports are produced in a timely manner in accordance with governing legislation,” said Tuilaepa.
The Prime Minister emphasized good governance cannot be adhered to if reports were not tabled on time.
Furthermore, this continuing problem of reports not being submitted on time is unfair to Parliament. He said that timely presentation of reports also shows the current standing of government.