The Constitution of the Independent State of Samoa establishes Parliament under Part 5, Article 42 with its related functions and responsibilities. “Parliament consists of the Head of State and members of the Legislative Assembly elected for each of the 51 electoral constituencies.”
I. Determine which group or groups of Members will form the Government.
The Government of the day is selected from the winning party(s) with majority seats or ‘confidence’ in the Legislative Assembly.
II. Consider and approve appropriations for Government to function.
Parliament is obliged to consider the Appropriation Bill consisting of estimated financial requirements for expenditure and revenue account on all Government services for each financial year.
III. Provide a legislative framework – pass and amend laws of the land.
Every bill must go through the legislative framework of Parliament (i.e; first and second reading, referral to Committees, consideration in detail, third reading) before it is officially passed by the Legislative Assembly and prepared for Royal Assent of the O le Ao o le Malo.
IV. Scrutiny of the Executive Government.
Parliament keeps the Government accountable through Parliamentary Committees tasked with the oversight of the Executive and during parliamentary proceedings where government action may be debated upon during question times.
V. Provide representation for all citizens.
Members of Parliament represent the interests of their respective Constituencies.
Most of Parliament’s work is implemented by its Committees.
In the beginning of every year, the Parliamentary Commission proposes a sitting schedule for Parliament for the year. The schedule is approved by the Assembly in its first sitting in January.