“Staff can use salary deductions”

Staff of Land Transport Authority can get their personal vehicles registered and payments made through salary deductions as part of their employment entitlement.

This is according to L.T.A. Chief Executive Officer, Galumalemana Ta’atialeoitiiti Tutuvanu-Schwalger, during her testimony in the case of suspended and former Assistant Chief Executive Officers Anoanoa’i Pepe Lafai and Mata’afa Sepelini in the Supreme Court. 

Appearing before Justice, Mata Keli Tuatagaloa, the defense counsel Fepulea’i Patrick Fepulea’i questioned Galumalemana on the policy.  

In response, the C.E.O. said it is stipulated in the organisation’s human resources manual, that staff can only register a maximum of two vehicles—and their ownership should be under the staff’s name. 

“The first step for the staff is to submit an official request is directed to myself as C.E.O. then an assessment is conducted by the corporate services division and finance division, and the decision is made—based on the assessment,” she said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Fepulea’i then inquired whether the staff can somewhat bypassed that process and file their request directly to the Corporate Services Division and Finance Division. But Galumalemana, in response, said the testimony given is based on the process. 

Fepulea’i then put it to her that there is a need to investigate this matter. 

“You’ll probably find that your staff are bypassing this process and they just deal directly with the Finance and if she’s aware,” he said.

But Galumalemana did not respond to his proposition directly, and instead said: “Investigation into this resulted in ways of improvement and the process explained earlier should be accountable to everyone.” 

Justice Tuatagaloa also questioned the C.E.O. on the entitlement, in relation to staff using salary deductions to pay off their private vehicle registration.

Responding to the Judge, Galumalemana said that particular entitlement assisted staff who could not afford to pay the registration for their private vehicles.  

The trial continues. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Bg pattern light

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?