American Samoa Reminds Procurement Office To Favor Locally-Owned Businesses

Using off-island vendors limits multiplier affects in local economy

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, June 30, 2017) – Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has written to Chief Procurement Officer, Dr. Oreta M. Crichton, saying that all government purchases shall be “restricted to locally owned businesses” unless a local vendor cannot be found, then the bidding process is to open up to off island vendors.

“Maximizing the multiplier effect of each federal and local dollar to bolster the growth of our economy is predicated on purchasing products from locally owned businesses,” Lolo wrote in a June 28 memo to Crichton, who is also head of the ASG Office of Procurement.

According to the governor, these federal and local purchase help sustain jobs provided by local vendors and it “makes sense, therefore, to channel all government purchases to our local businesses.”

Additionally, buying directly from off-island vendors does little to stimulate economic activity thus limiting the multiplier impact of federal and local funds.

“To advance this economic development strategy, all government purchases shall be restricted to locally owned businesses which are providing direct employment opportunities to our people,” he informed Crichton.

And in the event no local vendor is found, bidding will then be opened to outside companies. “Our first priority is to create job for residents of American Samoa with secondary emphasized on sustaining existing jobs,” the governor said.

“We recognize that there are special categories of government purchases which necessitate off island company participations, however, if local vendors are involved, preference will be according to local bidders,” he said.

While he acknowledged the fact that the involvement of off island bidders tend to lower the cost for products being purchase, Lolo said “residual economic and financial benefits do not accrue to stimulate our economy.”

In closing Lolo asked Crichton “to do everything possible to advance this economic development strategic policy.”

The Samoa News
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