New prison continues to incur additional cost

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia – Ah Tong 17 February 2019, 12:00AM

The construction of the new Tanumalala Prison continues to incur additional costs on top of its initially estimated cost of $10 million. 

The project has tipped the budgeted cost with $14 million already expended on the construction of the new correctional service facility. 

According to the Parliament Committee Report on the First Supplementary Estimates 2018/2019, an additional $1.9million has been allocated for construction work at the new Tanumalala Prison. 

A total of $2.3 million supplementary estimates has been approved for the Samoa Prison and Correction Services (SPCS).  

The remaining $75,970 will go to 137 personnel who have been rewarded with a salary increase except for the Commissioner. 

A breakdown of the $1.9 million shows that the bulk of it ($1.1million) is set aside for a new prison road, while $150,000 is for a fence, $80,000 is for a wireless communication and a new water tank gets $600,000. 

According to the Parliamentary Committee Report, an estimate of $14million has already been spent on the construction of the new prison facility. This includes the $2.2million appropriated in the first supplementary estimates 2018/2019. 

“The committee questioned the construction of the new road to the prison where $1.1million is appropriated,” the report stated. 

“The Service revealed that the new route will pass through Falese’ela Lefaga.”

 In September 2017, a groundbreaking ceremony took place on the 30-acre land in Tanumalala Lefaga. 

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi said the $10 million prison is a milestone for Samoa. 

The project has gone through a number of hurdles with the Government approving $1 million in 2016 to commence work, and China pulling out its funding and re-directing it to the Police and Law Enforcement facility.  

The $9 million shortfall at the time was not a challenge with Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt – who is also responsible for Prison – relying on “prayers” to get the project up and running. 

“At the end of the day, prayer is all we have. We have $1 million (from Government) for the preparations and we are hoping to secure funds.” 

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia – Ah Tong 17 February 2019, 12:00AM
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