Government reappoints A.C.C. Chief

Muliagatele Makerita Matafeo has been re-appointed by the Government to a third term as the Chief Executive Officer for the Accident Compensation Corporation.

The three-year appointment was confirmed by the Cabinet in a statement issued by the Samoa Government this week.

Muliagatele started working at the Corporation in 1996 as the Finance Manager and then later on became C.E.O. in 2015.  

She has been instrumental in the completion of projects for the Government namely, the A.C.C. Building in 1998, the new Fugalei Market Building 2012, Samoa High Commission House 2016, the purchase of the Gold Star Building in 2017 and the A.C.C. food court.

Under her tenure, the Accident Compensation Corporation recorded income of $21.20 million – which is an increase compared to the previous year, while also paying out the most in accident compensation in five years. 

The figure is outlined in the Corporation’s annual report for Financial Year 2018-2019. 

“The financial performance of the Corporation for the reviewed period is considered satisfactory,” the report said. 

The report says that A.C.C.’s total income of $21.2 million exceeded its target by two percent. 

Total expenditure for the year of approximately $6.57 million was 3.1 per cent below its budget. 

The decrease was attributed mainly to a reduction in administration expenditure.

“Excess income over expenditure of $14.62 million an increase of 4.65 percent over the previous year,” the report said.  

“Investment income of $8.9 million represents an increase of 6 percent over the previous year while investment cost of $1.7 million represents an increase of one percent over the previous year.” 

The annual report says the major source of scheme income which represented 54 percent of the A.C.C.’s total income, shows an increase of 6 per cent over the previous year. 

This increase related to a Government increment rise which took effect on 1 January, 2019.

Muliagatele was educated at Samalaeulu Primary School, St. Mary’s School Savalalo and St. Mary’s College Vaimoso.  

A public servant for 27 years, she holds a bachelor in business, majoring in accounting from La Trobe University in Australia.

The C.E.O. hails from the villages of Samalaeulu and Asau, is a member of the Catholic Church in Apia and is married with two children. 

The annual report says that over the last five years, 2019 saw the highest amount paid out for claims topping $1.6 million from the previous year 2018 and in 2017 a total of $1.3 million was paid out. 

According to the report, the trend in the number of accidents during the reviewed period increased by two per cent. 

“There was one motor vessel and 44 motor vehicle accidents recorded; it is pleasing to note the decline in injuries and fatalities,” the report read. 

“The major cause for specified conveyance accidents is the carelessness of road users, especially drivers through speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol. 

“The trend encourages the team to work hard in providing effective measures to continuously prevent accidents occurring in the next financial year.” 

The report says that accidents occurring to workers after normal working hours continue to decline but the fatality rate has increased substantially - suggesting that while fewer accidents were occurring they were more severe. 

“Unfortunately, the number of fatalities shows the severity of these accidents,” the report says. 

“As the number of accidents decreased by 3.6 per cent the death toll is increasing by 66.7 per cent. Three fatalities were from recreational activities.”

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