Cost of Ministry donations top $180,000
Donations by Government Ministries exceeded $180,000 tala in one financial year.
What's more, several branches of the civil service exceeded a cap on donation amounts, an analysis of budgeting for the financial year ending 2018 has revealed.
The total expenditure on donations of $181,680 is revealed in a budget monitoring report, which includes a full year performance analysis for the 2017-18 financial year.
The donations are provided on behalf of government and are capped at a maximum of $12,000 per ministry.
They are only permitted to be disbursed at officially recognised events.
Several ministries exceeded the prescribed threshold, including the Legislative Assembly which spent some $38,000 tala, or three times the cap set by policy.
The second most generous department was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which spent in excess of $31,000.
“Although [the cap] amount is set by policy, there is no predicting the number of community events that Ministers are invited [to]," the report said.
“Further, culture dictates that traditional gifts are given to matai and the village, if and when consultations are done at the community level, or when the village is called or visits the Ministers.”
The report says the Prime Minister’s Office made donations amounting to $27,720.
The Ministry of Education Sports and Culture spent $17,880, while the Ministry of Commerce and Labour spent $12,840.
Ministries operating under the threshold included the Ministry of Health, which spent $9360.
DONATIONS BY THE NUMBERS (FY 2017-18)
The Ministry for Revenue: $6,840
Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure: $3,840
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries: $3,000
Ministry for Public Enterprises: $2,880
Ministry for Women of Women and Social Development: $2,640
Ministry of Finance: $2,400
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment: $2,040
Ministry of Samoa Bureau of Statistics: $1,320.