3 Nov 2009

Samoa's government says goods for tsunami victims were not diverted

11:14 am on 3 November 2009

The Samoa Government says there is no way for goods intended for tsunami victims to be diverted.

This follows an allegation made a week ago by New Zealand local body politician, Litea Ah Hoi, who suggested some of the items donated may be turning up in shops.

But the Disaster Management Office chief executive, Taulealeausumai Mailo Laavasa Malua, says they have effective systems to account for how goods are stored and how they are distributed.

In a press release the Government says all goods they received are recorded by Treasury officials who have a desk at the entrance to their compound.

And it says all money given to the DMO office is also receipted by Treasury and goes through their system of controls.

Taulealeausumai says the movement of the aid material is observed by various government officials at each stage, including from Customs, Police, Treasury, Audit and his office.

He says the system is working very well and every item, every delivery has been accounted for.

Taulealeausumai has asked Ms Ah Hoi to produce any evidence that goods are being sold in shops.

He says the law is very clear on such matters and if anybody was found to be misappropriating goods they would immediately be arrested and charged.