Samoan Language Commission Act 2014

Link to law: http://www.palemene.ws/new/wp-content/uploads/01.Acts/Acts%202014/Samoan-Language-Commission-Act-2014-Eng.pdf

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rangement of Provisions
PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and
commencement
2. Interpretation
3. Act binds Government
4. Objectives

PART II
RECOGNITION OF
SAMOAN LANGUAGE

5. Samoan language to be an
official language

PART III
SAMOAN LANGUAGE
COMMISSION AND THE
BOARD

Division 1 - Commission and
its functions and powers

6. Establishment
7. Functions and powers

Division 2 - The Board and its
functions and powers
8. Board of the Commission
9. Powers of the Board
10. Meetings and Secretary of the Board
11. Minutes of meetings
12. Remuneration and allowances
13. Disclosure of conflict of interest
14. Board to have regard to government
policy
15. Delegation
16. Resignation and removal of members

PART IV
ADMINISTRATION

17. Appointment and removal of the
Commissioner
18. Duties of the Commissioner
19. Appointment and removal of the
Executive Director
20. Functions of Executive Director
21. Appointment of officers and employees

PART V
FINANCE

22. Funds of the Commission
23. Accounts and annual reports


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PART VI
MISCELLANEOUS

24. Protection against
personal liability

25. Regulations


__________

2014, No. 5

AN ACT to ensure the Samoan language is and remains a vibrant
language, to declare the Samoan language as an official
language, and to establish the Samoan Language Commission
to provide its functions, duties and powers, and for related
purposes. [7th
April 2014]

BE IT ENACTED by the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in
Parliament assembled as follows:

PART I
PRELIMINARY
1. Short title and commencement-(1) This Act may be cited as
the Samoan Language Commission Act 2014.
(2) This Act commences on a date or dates to be nominated by the
Minister.

2. Interpretation - In this Act, unless the context otherwise
requires:
“appointed member” means a member of the Board appointed
under section 8(1)(b);
“Board” means the Board of the Commission established under
section 8;
“Commissioner” means the Samoan Language Commissioner
appointed under section 17;
“Commission” means the Samoan Language Commission
established under section 6;
“court” means a District Court, the Supreme Court or the Court of
Appeal or any other court established by an Act;
“Executive Director” means the Executive Director of the Office
appointed under section 19;
“government agency” means an agency that is accountable,
through a Minister, to Parliament for the conduct of its affairs;




2014, No. 5 Samoan Language Commission 3

“government institution” means:
(a) a ministry or department of the Government; and
(b) a government agency established or incorporated under an
Act; and
(c) any board, commission or council, or other body or office
established to perform a governmental function by or
pursuant to an Act or by or under the authority of the
Head of State or the Government; and
(d) any other body that is specified by an Act to be subject to
the direction of the Head of State or a Minister; and
(e) a tribunal.
“member” means a member of the Board;
“Minister” means the Minister who is directed under Article 35 of
the Constitution to be responsible for this Act and the Samoan
Language Commission;
“ministry” means a ministry established under the Ministerial and
Departmental Arrangements Act 2003 or under another Act;
“translation”, in relation to the Samoan language, means the
written expression in English or other languages of words
written in Samoan and the written expression in Samoan of
words written in English or other languages;
“tribunal” means a body established under an Act to carry out
quasi-judicial functions;
“State institution” means the Parliament or court.

3. Act binds Government - This Act binds the Government.

4. Objectives - The objectives of this Act are:
(a) to ensure respect for the Samoan language as an official
language and to ensure that the Samoan language is
accorded the status, right and privilege as to its use in
all government institutions or State institutions, in
particular with respect to its use -
(i) in parliamentary proceedings;
(ii) in legislative and other instruments;
(iii) in communicating with or providing
services to the public; and
(iv) in carrying out the work of government
institution or State institutions; and
(b) to support the development of Samoan language; and
(c) to generally advance the status and use of the Samoan
language within the Samoan society; and


4 Samoan Language Commission 2014, No. 5

(d) to set out the powers, duties and functions of government or
State institutions with respect to the official language of
Samoa; and
(e) standardise translation in relation to the Samoan language;
and
(f) to value the use of the Samoan language in all areas of life
in Samoa.

PART II
RECOGNITION OF SAMOAN LANGUAGE
5. Samoan language to be an official language-(1) The Samoan
language is declared to be an official language of Samoa.
(2) The declaration under subsection (1) has the effect of:
(a) promoting the use of the Samoan language in any records,
communication or discussion as determined by the
Commission;
(b) recognising the Samoan language in government budget
and other money generating avenues for development;
(c) promoting equity for all the people of Samoa;
(d) promoting the development and maintenance of the Samoan
language, and, in particular, its use as a living language
and as an ordinary means of communication.

PART III
SAMOAN LANGUAGE COMMISSION
AND THE BOARD
Division 1 - Commission and its functions and powers

6. Establishment-(1) The Samoan Language Commission is
established as a body corporate with perpetual succession and common
seal, and may:
(a) sue and be sued;
(b) enter into contracts;
(c) acquire, hold and dispose of property both real and
personal; and
(d) do any other act necessary for or incidental to the
performance of its functions, duties and powers under
this Act or any other law.
(2) The Commission consists of all of the following:
(a) the Commissioner;
(b) the Board;



2014, No. 5 Samoan Language Commission 5

(c) the Executive Director;
(d) officers, employees of the Commission and other persons
employed or engaged for the purpose of this Act.
(3) The Commission must affix its common seal:
(a) in accordance with its resolution; and
(b) in the presence of and with the signatures of the
Chairperson or the Executive Director and one (1) other
appointed member.
(4) A document to which the Commission is a party, other than
those required by law to be under seal, may be signed on behalf of the
Commission by the Chairperson, the Executive Director, an appointed
member or an officer of the Commission.
(5) A court must:
(a) take judicial notice of a seal affixed under subsection (3) to
a document; and
(b) presume that the seal was properly affixed, unless the
contrary is proved.

7. Functions and powers-(1) The Commission has the following
functions:
(a) to initiate, develop, co-ordinate, review, advise upon, and
assist in the implementation of policies, procedures,
measures, and practices designed to give effect to the
declaration in section 5 of the Samoan language as an
official language of Samoa;
(b) generally to promote the Samoan language, and, in
particular, its use as a living language and as an
ordinary means of communication;
(c) to develop a strategic plan and a corporate plan for the
Commission;
(d) to monitor and advise the implementation of its policies and
corporate plan;
(e) to consider and report to the Minister upon any matter
relating to the Samoan language that the Minister may
refer to the Commission for its advice;
(f) to advise the Government and the Parliament on Samoan
language matters through the Minister;
(g) to carry out consultations on policy development, publicise
policies and decisions on the Samoan language;
(h) to monitor developments or changes in the Samoan
language;


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(i) to provide interpretation and translation services;
(j) to carry out other functions conferred on it under this Act or
any other Act.
(2) The Commission may do any other thing necessary for the
Commission to carry out its functions.
(3) Without limiting subsection (2), the Commission may:
(a) conduct, hold, or attend any inquiries, hearings, or meetings
as the Commission thinks desirable to enable it to
determine the views and wishes of the public in relation
to the promotion and use of the Samoan language; and
(b) undertake or commission research into the use of the
Samoan language; and
(c) consult with and receive reports from ministries and other
bodies on the use of Samoan language in the course of
the conduct of the business of the ministries or other
bodies, whether by their staff or by persons with whom
the ministries have official dealings; and
(d) publish information relating to the use of the Samoan
language; and
(e) report to the Minister on any matter relating to the Samoan
language that the Commission considers should be
drawn to the Minister’s attention.
(4) The Minister may refer any matter relating to the Samoan
language to the Commission for its consideration and advice.
(5) As an exception to this Act, the Chief Justice may issue
guidelines for the purpose of taking progressive measures to
implement policies and procedures for the use of Samoan language in
the courts.

Division 2 - The Board and its functions and powers

8. Board of the Commission-(1) The Board of the Commission is
established consisting of the following members:
(a) the Commissioner, as Chairperson;
(b) nine (9) members appointed by the Head of State, acting on
the advice of Cabinet.
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1)(b), Cabinet must take into
account:
(a) the suitability of a person for appointment to the Board;
(b) the person’s personal attributes; and
(c) the person’s knowledge and experience in the use of the
Samoan language; and




2014, No. 5 Samoan Language Commission 7

(d) any other matters likely to come before the Board; and
(e) the views of the Minister after the Minister consults with
the following -
(i) a representative of the Samoa National
Council of Churches; and
(ii) a representative of the Special Committee on
Traditional Salutation and Legends; and
(iii) a representative of the Samoa National
Council of Women; and
(iv) a representative of the Centre for Samoan
Studies at the National University of Samoa; and
(v) Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of
Education, Sports and Culture; and
(vi) Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Justice
and Courts Administration; and
(vii) Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.
(3) An appointed member:
(a) holds office for a term not exceeding three (3) years; and
(b) is eligible for reappointment; and
(c) when the term of office expires, continuing in office until
the appointed member is reappointed or replaced.

9. Powers of the Board - The Board has the following powers:
(a) to carry out the functions and duties of the Commission
under this Act;
(b) to raise finance and to obtain assets for the purposes of this
Act;
(c) to determine fees for the purpose of this Act;
(d) to determine partnerships or other arrangements to be
entered into for the purpose of this Act;
(e) to review and propose amendments to this Act.

10. Meetings and Secretary of the Board-(1) The Board may
convene its meetings at least four (4) times in a year.
(2) As an exception to subsection (1), the Chairperson:
(a) must convene the first meeting of the Board;
(b) may at any time convene a special meeting of the Board.
(3) The following rules apply to a meeting of the Board:
(a) the Chairperson or if the Chairperson is absent for any
reason, a member appointed by the members present at
the meeting, presides;
(b) the quorum is four (4) members;


8 Samoan Language Commission 2014, No. 5

(c) a question is to be determined by majority votes of the
members present;
(d) the presider has a deliberative and, if there is equality of
votes, a casting vote.
(4) Subject to this Act, the Board may regulate its own procedures.
(5) An act or decision of the Board is valid even if:
(a) a member’s appointment is defective or irregular; or
(b) a vacancy exists in the Board.
(6) The Executive Director or if he or she is absent a person
authorised by the Executive Director or the Board, acts as Secretary of
the Board.

11. Minutes of meetings-(1) The Board must keep a record of all
resolutions passed at a meeting.
(2) The Board must approve the minutes at its next or a later
meeting; and the presider must sign the approved minutes.
(3) The Board must give a copy of the minutes to all the members.

12. Remuneration and allowances-(1) An appointed member is
entitled to the same remuneration and allowances approved by Cabinet
for members and directors of government boards and commissions.
(2) The remuneration and allowances are to be paid from the funds
of the Commission.

13. Disclosure of conflict of interest-(1) A member who has a
direct or indirect interest in any arrangement or agreement entered
into, or proposed to be entered into, by the Commission must as soon
as is practicable after the relevant facts have come to the member’s
notice, disclose the nature of that interest at a meeting of the Board.
(2) A disclosure under this section must be recorded in the minutes
of the meeting.
(3) After the disclosure, the member must not take part in the
deliberation or decision relating to the arrangement or agreement,
without affecting the quorum of that meeting.

14. Board to have regard to government policy - The Board
must have regard to any government policy when carrying out its
functions, duties and powers.

15. Delegation-(1) The Board may, in writing, delegate any of its
functions, duties and powers under this Act to a person (“delegate”).




2014, No. 5 Samoan Language Commission 9

(2) A delegation under this section:
(a) may be subject to conditions or be specific or general
delegation;
(b) must not include the power to delegate under this section;
(c) for the function, duty or power delegated, is taken as having
been carried out by the Board when the delegate carries
out the function, duty or power;
(d) does not prevent the Board from carrying out the function,
duty or power delegated;
(e) may be varied, suspended or revoked.
(3) A document signed by a delegate:
(a) is evidence in a court as if the document were executed by
the Board; and
(b) is taken to be signed by a delegate of the Commission, until
the contrary is proved.
(4) A person aggrieved by a decision of a delegate may make a
written request to the Board within 14 days from the date of the
decision, requiring the Board to reconsider the decision of the
delegate.
(5) The Board may:
(a) dismiss the request and confirm the decision; or
(b) determine the request and confirm or reverse the decision;
or
(c) if it reverses the decision, make a new decision.

16. Resignation and removal of members-(1) An appointed
member may resign from office by giving a notice in writing to the
Minister.
(2) The Cabinet may remove an appointed member from office, if
Cabinet is satisfied that the appointed member:
(a) has become permanently incapable of carrying out the
duties of the office; or
(b) is guilty of misconduct in the performance of the duties of
the office; or
(c) has been absent from three (3) or more consecutive
meetings of the Board, without a valid excuse;
(d) has been declared bankrupt; or
(e) has been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or
which is of such a nature or seriousness that renders it
inappropriate, in the opinion of Cabinet for the member
to continue to hold the office.


10 Samoan Language Commission 2014, No. 5

(3) Without limiting subsection (2)(b), an appointed member is
deemed to be guilty of misconduct if:
(a) the member knowingly votes on any matter before the
Board in which the member has, a direct or indirect
pecuniary interest; or
(b) takes part in, or is present at the discussion of a matter
before the Board without disclosing a direct or indirect
pecuniary interest to the Board.

PART IV
ADMINISTRATION

17. Appointment and removal of the Commissioner-(1) The
Head of State may, acting on the advice of Cabinet, appoint a Samoan
Language Commissioner.
(2) The Commissioner:
(a) may be appointed for a term not exceeding three (3) years,
and on such terms and conditions as approved by
Cabinet; and
(b) is eligible for reappointment; and
(c) must not hold any other office or engage in any other
employment, except as a member of a board, committee
or commission established under an Act; and
(d) may resign by giving 30 days’ notice in writing addressed
to the Minister who must inform the Head of State and
the Cabinet about the resignation; and
(e) when the term of office expires, continues in office until he
or she is reappointed or replaced.
(3) The Cabinet may remove the Commissioner from office on any
of the following grounds:
(a) has failed to carry out his or her functions, duties and
powers or a direction of the Board;
(b) is guilty of misconduct in carrying out his or her functions,
duties and powers;
(c) has been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or
which is of such a nature or seriousness that renders it
inappropriate, for the person to continue to hold the
office;
(d) has breached a term or condition of his or her appointment
or employment.
(4) When the removal proceeding begins under subsection (3), the
Commissioner is taken to be suspended, subject to conditions imposed
by Cabinet.



2014, No. 5 Samoan Language Commission 11

18. Duties of the Commissioner - The Commissioner has the
following duties:
(a) to do all such things necessary to achieve the objectives
under section 4;
(b) to develop policies for the Commission;
(c) to advise on all issues concerning the Samoan Language;
(d) to advise the Government on any proposal to amend this
Act;
(e) to monitor together with the Board the work and
performance of the Executive Director and staff of the
Commission;
(f) to develop promotional and awareness programmes to
advance the evolution of the Samoan Language;
(g) to engage only in the duties of the Commissioner.

19. Appointment and removal of the Executive Director-(1)
This section establishes the position of Executive Director of the
Commission.
(2) The Head of State, on the advice of Cabinet, may appoint a
suitable and qualified person as the Executive Director.
(3) The Minister must, in consultation with the Board, submit to
Cabinet the name of the person to be appointed as the Executive
Director.
(4) The Executive Director:
(a) may be appointed for a period not exceeding three (3) years,
and on such other terms and conditions as approved by
Cabinet; and
(b) is eligible for re-appointment; and
(c) is entitled to remuneration and allowances determined by
the Board in accordance with government policies and
salary scale; and
(d) must devote the whole of his or her services to the Office of
the Commission; and
(e) must not hold any other office or employment, whether
remunerated or not, except for appointment as a
director of a board, committee or commission
established by an Act; and
(f) when the term of office expires, continues in office until he
or she is reappointed or replaced; and
(g) may resign by giving 30 days’ notice in writing addressed
to the Minister who must inform the Head of State and
the Cabinet about the resignation.


12 Samoan Language Commission 2014, No. 5

(5) The Cabinet may remove the Executive Director from office, if
the Executive Director:
(a) fails to carry out his or her functions, duties and powers
under this Act or a lawful direction given by the Board
or Commissioner; or
(b) is guilty of misconduct in carrying out his or her functions,
duties and powers; or
(c) has been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or
which is of such a nature or seriousness that renders it
inappropriate, for the Executive Director to continue to
hold the office; or
(d) has breached a term or condition of his or her appointment.
(6) When the removal proceedings begin under subsection (5),
Executive Director is taken to be suspended, subject to conditions
imposed by Cabinet.

20. Functions of Executive Director-(1) The Executive Director:
(a) is to be the administrative head of the Commission and
must be responsible to the Board for the effective and
efficient management of the Commission, and for the
execution of the Commission’s functions under this Act
or directions of the Board; and
(b) subject to this Act and any resolution of the Board, may do
all things necessary or convenient to be done in
connection with the performance of his or her duties
under this Act or any other Act.
(2) The Executive Director must make a report at each meeting of
the Board in relation to any of the following:
(a) any contract, agreement or arrangement entered into by or
on behalf of the Commission since the last meeting;
(b) the activities and other affairs of the Commission since the
last meeting;
(c) any other matter on which the Executive Director is
required by the Board to submit a report.
(3) If, for any reason (such as vacancy of office, illness or absence)
the Executive Director is unable to perform his or her functions, duties
and powers, the Board may appoint one (1) or more of the officers of
the Commission to perform the functions, duties and powers.

21. Appointment of officers and employees - All officers and
employees of the Commission (including any person that the
Commission may engage) are to be employed or engaged under the
laws and practices applying to the Public Service.



2014, No. 5 Samoan Language Commission 13

PART V
FINANCE

22. Funds of the Commission-(1) The funds of the Commission
which consists of moneys appropriated by Parliament for the purpose
of this Act.
(2) The Minister of Finance may give written directions as to the
amounts in which, and the times at which, moneys referred to in
subsection (1) are to be paid to the Commission.
(3) The Public Finance Management Act 2001 and the Audit
Office Ordinance 1961 applies to the funds of the Commission.
(4) Without limiting subsection (3), the Commission is taken to be
a public body for the purposes of Part XIII of the Public Finance
Management Act 2001.

23. Accounts and annual reports-(1) The Commission must keep
proper accounts and records of the transactions and affairs of the
Commission and do all things necessary to ensure that:
(a) all funds received by the Commission are accounted for;
and
(b) all payments by the Commission are properly authorised
and correctly made and accounted for; and
(c) there are adequate controls over the Commission’s -
(i) expenses, assets and liabilities; and
(ii) property under the Commission’s control.
(2) The Commission must prepare and submit to the Minister,
within six (6) months from the end of the financial year of the
Commission an annual report (“annual report”) containing:
(a) financial statements for the financial year (“financial
statement”);
(b) performance indicators and such information as may be
directed by the Minister of Finance;
(c) a report on the operations of the Commission during the
preceding financial year; and
(d) such other information as Cabinet may require.
(3) The financial statements must be prepared on an accrual
accounting basis and must consist of:
(a) a statement of financial transactions of the Commission for
the financial year; and


14 Samoan Language Commission 2014, No. 5

(b) a statement of the financial position of the Commission at
the end of the financial year; and
(c) proper and adequate notes to the financial statements.
(4) The financial statements must:
(a) present fairly the financial transactions of the Commission
during the financial year to which they relate; and
(b) present fairly the financial position of the Commission at
the end of the financial year.
(5) The Commission must, within four (4) months after the end of
each financial year, submit to the Controller and Chief Auditor for
audit the financial statements and other information referred to in
subsection (2) who must prepare an audit report.
(6) The financial year of the Commission is from 1 July to 30 June.
(7) The Minister must, within 14 sitting days of receiving the audit
report, table the annual report and the audit report in Parliament
pursuant to its Standing Orders.

PART VI
MISCELLANEOUS

24. Protection against personal liability-(1) This section applies
to the following persons:
(a) the Head of State;
(b) the Minister;
(c) the Commissioner;
(d) an appointed member of the Board;
(e) an officer or employee, including a consultant or persons
seconded under this Act;
(f) any other person authorised to carry out a function, duty or
powers under this Act.
(2) A person to whom this section applies is not personally liable
for an act or omission done honestly, in good faith and without
negligence in carrying out a function, duty or power under this Act.

25. Regulations - The Head of State may, acting on the advice of
Cabinet, make regulations to give effect to or for the purpose of this
Act, and in particular may make the following regulations:
(a) to prescribe fees for the purposes of this Act; or





2014, No. 5 Samoan Language Commission 15

(b) to prescribe procedures necessary for the Commission to
carry out its functions, duties and powers under this
Act;
(c) for matters required to be prescribed under this Act.

__________
The Samoan Language Commission Act 2014 is administered
by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture.