Panel yet to deliberate on ruling against Sangetari


THE Ombudsman Appointment Committee (OAC) is yet to deliberate on a decision against former acting Chief Ombudsman Pheobe Sangetari who had asked for her reappointment for special reasons.
That request was declined by the National Executive Council.
Sangetari had retired last month and she wrote to the OAC to allow her to remain with the commission on special reasons so she could complete some projects. She told The National that she had received a letter from NAC Secretary Ilagi Veali informing her that the request had been declined.
Sangetari said she was informed of the OAC’s decision and that the substantive position would be advertised.
Veali was not available for comment but it is understood that the sub-committee and the OAC would look into the special reasons for her reappointment beyond retirement.
Under the Organic Law on the Ombudsman Commission, an ombudsman reaching 55 has to retire and this, according to Sangetari, is under review to extend the retirement age to 72.
She said the commission was reviewing the law, which was one of the projects she had started since taking up her position as acting chief ombudsman in 2012. Although the project was not completed, one of the sections of the law the commission was working on to amend was to extend the retirement age from 55 up to 72.
Sangetari said under the Organic Law on Ombudsman Commission, the officers could be appointed up to 60 years old but for special reasons.
She said the law did not say what the special reasons were but it left it with the OAC to decide. Sangetari wanted to continue because there were projects she had started, including staff housing, that had not been completed.
However, the committee referred her application to a sub-committee to look at and advise within 14 days.
Last week, she received the letter that the OAC had rejected her request and that the ombudsman’s position would be advertised.

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