Chimbu treasurer defies sacking

National, Normal

The National, Friday 27th January 2012

A PUBLIC servant is defying an order by the acting finance secretary Steven Gibson for her removal as Chimbu provincial treasurer.
Martha Anton has assured the people of Chimbu that she remains the provincial treasurer and that the notice of suspension served on her by Gibson was null and void.
Anton said Gibson’s attempt to suspend her was seriously flawed because:
lThe power of employment is vested in the secretary of the department of personnel management under section 43 of the Public Service Act. And the public service general orders did not authorise Gibson to terminate her contract; and
lDisciplinary procedures were not followed to have the charges laid, allow the officer to reply to the charges, and a decision made on whether the officer is guilty or otherwise.
Anton has provided all the documents requested by the audit investigation team set up by Gibson after an allegation was raised against her.
The team was to provide a report to him on Dec 12.
She said if the report had implicated her in a serious way, then Gibson should take disciplinary action against her.
So Gibson failed to follow proper procedures before deciding to suspend her.
She said the notice of suspension was not effectively served on her and therefore she would remain the provincial treasurer.
“The Acting Finance Secretary may have the right to take disciplinary actions against me and other treasury staff but that right should be exercised in conformity with the relevant employment rules and procedures, let alone grounds must exist,” she said.
She said claims by Gibson that she did not recognise the Peter O’Neill-led government and was reporting to and taking orders from former Finance Secretary Gabriel Yer was far from the truth.
She said allegation raised in The National on Jan 19 were made to cover up the illegal action taken by Gibson and the others pushing for her removal.
She will take necessary legal action when the situation warrants it.