Hon. Afamasaga Lepuiai Rico Tupai was appointed as Minister of Communications and Information Technology in March 2016. As Minister, his powers are defined under Section 7 of the Postal and Telecommunications Services Act 1999 and are provided below:
The Minister shall have general superintendence and control over all matters relating to postal and telecommunications services which fall within the competence of the government.
For the purposes of carrying out its functions, the Minister may -
a) Give such directions on matters relating to postal and telecommunications matters to the staff of the Ministry as he thinks fit in connection with the administration of this Act or any other Act administered by the Ministry;
b) Ensure that the licensed provider of services is acting in compliance with the Government policy on Postal and Telecommunications services and is in compliance with the conditions of the license granted to it under the Act;
c) Exercise such powers as are conferred on him by the Parts of the Post Office Act 1972 that continue in force after the commencement date;
d) Delegate to the licensed service provider any of the powers referred to in paragraph (c) and
e) Exercise such other powers as are reasonably necessary for the effective performance of the functions of the Minister and to delegate any of those powers to any member of the staff of the Ministry.
In addition to the above, the Minister has the authority to grant licenses for the establishment and operation of broadcasting services in Samoa. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, since the departmental realignment in 2003, is responsible for processing broadcasting service license applications, following which advice is provided to the Minister for his decision making. The ICT Secretariat, the division of the Ministry that is responsible for ICT development is another crucial area, that the Minister ensures that all its goals and objectives are achieved.