Govt. looks to cash in on Pacific Games sale

The first of several sales of donated Pacific Games equipment is scheduled for this week, with the Government hoping to reap tens of thousands of tala from them.

The Ministry of Finance has listed 46 different kind of items for sale, ranging from electronics to whiteboards, rubbish bins and furniture, including a lounge suite with an asking price of $2,880.

Among the electronics are laptops, printers, cell-phones, several televisions, sound systems, laminators, and a digital safe.

Also for sale is a physiotherapy bed, mattresses, refrigerators, water coolers, whiteboards, and even the set of floating pontoons used to ensure disabled access to the sailing competition during the Pacific Games.

It is not clear how many of each item is on sale, as the Ministry won’t release the exact quantities. 

The most expensive item on the list is the seven-seat lounge suite worth $2,880, while the cheapest are white rubbish bins at $6.

Without exact quantities, it is hard to say exactly how much the government could stand to make, but it would be a minimum of $22,522 if one of each item were sold.

The auction is on Thursday and Friday from 9:30 am, at Gym Two in Tuanaimato. 

The Ministry has advised people may be limited to how many of each item they can buy.

Businesses and companies are not allowed to participate in the sale, as it is for public buyers, M.O.F. said in a notice.

Buyers should be paying in cash on the day, and get five days to return and receive a refund on any electronic equipment if they find it is faulty.

The equipment is part of a massive shipment donated to Samoa by the Government of China for the Pacific Games in 2019. 

As well as the electronics and furniture, Samoa received sports equipment, materials for costumes, fireworks for the opening and closing ceremonies and a full fleet of vehicles.

Some of the donations have been handed off to the relevant sports associations and some schools, while others will be listed for sale in future sales.

The next public sale is tentatively scheduled for Friday 24 July 2020, and the list for this sale is unconfirmed. 

M.O.F. Chief Executive Officer Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi has been approached for comment.

Previously, he told the Samoa Observer that Cabinet was taking its time to decide on whether to donate or sell the assets, but that some must be sold to “reduce the pressure on the budget.”

Then the decision making was delayed by the measles epidemic, and more recently the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

The eventual distribution of some sports equipment via the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture will be a relief to many sports associations, including the Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association (S.O.C.A.) which took over 36 boats, lifejackets, laptops and a PA system earlier this month ahead of Samoa hosting the 2021 World Long Distance Championship of Outrigger Canoeing.

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