By HELEN TARAWA
GOVERNMENT departmental heads who have been implicated in criminal or leadership breaches should be given the opportunity to provide their side of the story, Public Service Minister Soroi Eoe says.
Eoe said there were procedures in such cases.
“We have to follow procedures, just because somebody is making accusations, allegations need to be proven,” he told The National.
“If the matter is brought to our attention, we write to the minister concerned to ask the secretary being implicated to give his side of the story which takes seven to 14 working days, depending.
“After he has responded then the information is submitted to Department of Personnel Management (DPM) then forwarded to Public Service Commission (PSC) which looks at it and decides on what cause of action to take.
“The important thing is that the secretary implicated needs to explain his side of the story.
“To have them arrested as a criminal offense is really uncalled for, procedures were not exhausted. Secretaries like any public servant have made their way up the ranks to be where they are.”
Eoe said he had written to Education Minister Joseph Yopyyopy to write to Secretary Uke Kombra to provide his side of the story.
“Based on his information, then Minister Yopyyopy can make a decision and recommendations can be made to PSC through DPM and we can then decide what course of action to take.
“For me it’s a bit harsh, the person’s reputation being destroyed whether he was right or wrong. He was not given the benefit of doubt so justice is not served.”
Eoe said that matter should be internally done and if the public service recommended there was criminality involved, then it’s up to Government to decide. “We take the matter up in close consultation with cabinet on the course of action, if he needs to be suspended and investigated.”
Meanwhile Eoe said Health secretary Pascoe Kase’s term would expire on Jan 19, 2020, and Health and HI/AIDs Minister Jelta Wong had already made his recommendations.
“It’s the same thing, whether the public is crying out loud because of Public Accounts Committee investigations.”
By HELEN TARAWA