Govt. moots amending Head of State Act

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s Government is seeking legislative amendments, which would get the entitlements and salaries of the Head of State and Council of Deputy Members in line with the public service salary scale.

The amendments to the Head of State Act 1965 – if passed by the Parliament – will also see the Head of State Act administered by the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

According to the Approve Estimates of Receipts and Payments of the Government for the Financial Year Ending 30 June 2018, the Head of State, His Highness Tui A'ana Tuimaleali'ifano Va'aleto'a Sualauvi II, remains the highest paid official in the land with a base salary of $203,855 inclusive of benefits. 

A total of $315,180 is allocated to cater for the salaries of the three Members of Council of Deputies. The only position currently occupied is held by Le Mamea Ropati. According to the document the Deputy Council Member’s salary is $105,060 per annum. 

The explanatory memorandum and the proposed bill did not give details of the Head of State and Deputy Councils’ new salaries. 

“The Head of State must be paid an allowance at a rate fixed from time to time by Cabinet for the following:  telephone and overseas official travels and medical entitlements”.

Another amendment touches on the official addressing of the Head of State as His Highness replaced with “Afioga i le Ao o le Malo” and her Highness the Masiofo” with “Afioga i le Masiofo/Ali’i” or the spouse of the Head of State.

Another proposed change relates to the allowances and privileges of the spouse of the Head of State.

“If the Head of State is living with his or her spouse at the time of his or her death, the spouse is entitled to be paid an amount equal to the salary of the Head of State, for three months from the date of death of the Head of State as a one off payment.”.

The running cost including maintenance of all motor vehicles (assigned to the Office of the Head of State) are to be paid for by annual appropriation under the Ministry budget. 

Furthermore, a secretary to the Head of State, who is appointed by Cabinet on a three-year contract, will be responsible for the administration of the Office.

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