Government telecom licensees not paying fees

Some government entities that are licensed to provide telecommunications services by the territory’s regulator are not paying their annual licensing fees, a senior official at the agency confirmed Wednesday.

The Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee Chairman, North Side MLA Ezzard Miller, asked during a public hearing Wednesday whether certain government entities pay OfReg licensing fees on time.

OfReg Vice President Alee Fa’amoe told the committee that, in his opinion, anyone who received an OfReg license should have to pay. However, some of the government entities that were licensed were “of the opinion” that those licenses should be free.

“We remain at odds with some of our government licensees about that,” Mr. Fa’amoe said. “But the fees are very small … so it is not worth starting a war over.”

“Except that the law, is the law, is the law,” Mr. Miller replied.

Ministry of Finance representatives at the hearing also indicated it was their view that the government licensees should have to pay. “That would be the proper way to do it,” said Michael Nixon, deputy chief officer for the ministry.