“INVENTORY OF ASG LAND”
Reference to the news article in the Samoa News Monday, July 29, page 4, about the governor appointing a task force to inventory the ASG lands.
With all due respect to the good Governor and his appointed task force, may I make the following comments.
The governor has given the task force an impossible assignment to do in 30 days.
In due respect to the task force themselves or their employees, they have no idea where all of the records are located. Also, they, by far and large, do not have the skills to interpret the documents they do find. The task force does not have the ability to properly map the lands found to ascertain the location of the property.
The records in the Territorial Registrar’s Office are incomplete and many of the records have been stolen.
The same can be said of the DPW Survey Section. Faleosina can tell you all about records that were stolen from DPW.
In about 1987, I saw file cabinets full of land contracts, road right of ways, and leases all pertaining to ASG lands.
None of these records were ever filed at the Territorial Registrar's Office. They were all textual documents where the chiefs gave easements to ASG on all of the roads that were built in the 1960s. I have also seen one section of construction drawings showing the ROWs that were taken.
DPW also had right of way documents in their files at one time.Both of the above records have either been stolen, discarded, or stored away in some box in the Archives.
I suggest that the good Governor should have placed Faafetai Wells RPS 22 on the committee as he has good knowledge of where some of these things are. However, it will take much more time than 30 days.
I say this from the fact I have been doing land research in ASG offices' since about 1986, whenever I was able to force open the closed doors of ASG offices to do research.
L. P. French