Police Academy's $32 million budget confirmed
A new state-of-the-art Samoa Police Academy project will come at a cost of $32.8 million, to be funded by a grant from China, it can be revealed.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Finance, Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi, revealed the cost of the under-construction project in response to inquiries from the Samoa Observer.
"[The Academy will be] an in-kind grant from the Government of the People's Republic of China," Leasiosio said.
"It is not a loan-funded project.”
The first steps towards the Academy's construction were taken last month when Parliament set-in-motion a process to hire personnel for its development including a project manager, a maintenance officer and a security guard.
According to Leasiosio, there is a counterparty provision in the budget for costs that will be met by the Government of Samoa including: land clearance, utilities to the site (electricity, water); site security; project management and other expenses both Governments had agreed to.
A total of $158,073 was contained to cover the first tranche of these costs in the 2019-2020 supplementary budget tabled in Parliament last month.
According to Leasiosio the project will take 18 months to construct.
The project is expected to include a sports field, running tracks, accommodation, classrooms, a gymnasium, an operational training venue and administrative space.
The Samoa Observer contacted Leasiosio after a $17.28 million budget allocation for the project was outlined in the Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee but the C.E.O. said $32.8 million represented the full project budget.
“Of this amount, $17.28 million was allocated in the 2018-2019 [...] budget with $15.52 million provided for in the current Financial Year 2019-2020.”
The Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, told the Samoa Observer last month, this project is the first of its kind in Samoa.
“The Samoa Police Academy is envisioned as a multi-agency training centre, with a view [towards] a regional centre of excellence for policing in the Pacific region," he said.
“This Academy will not be limited to recruitment; rather [it will also include] refresher courses for the Police Officers and law enforcement training for the community, upskilling and the also the bigger picture law enforcement courses for the Pacific.
"This will be hub for law enforcement and the courses will be available to tackle the needs of the Pacific Islands.”
The Commissioner said the hub will also provide training for border control agents, such as from Customs, Quarantine, the Samoa Airport Authority, the Samoa Port Authority and Immigration.