The National, Thursday 20th September, 2012
By SALLY TIWARI
MINISTER for Youth, Religion and Community Development Loujaya Toni has defended the decision to lift the suspension of Secretary for Community Development Joseph Klapat.
Toni said the Office of the Attorney-General would carry out an independent investigation into allegations against Klapat.
She said the decision to lift the suspension was made on Aug 20 and gazetted on Aug 29 and in which the National Executive Council approved an independent investigation to be conducted into the allegations.
“I will not change my stand because the suspension period, which is normally three months, had lapsed and a decision has to be made or else there will be repercussions,” Toni said.
She said the NEC’s decision to suspend Klapat on Dec 29, 2011, was based on the same allegations that had been previously cleared by the Public Service Commission.
Toni said on that same day, the former acting secretary Anna Solomon presented an internal hand-written investigation report on allegations against Klapat to her.
“I gave the report to the office of the Attorney-General to investigate it because how can officers investigate themselves,” she said.
She said on that day there were five other NEC decisions regarding suspension of officers.
“This department has suffered from mismanagement and lack of good reporting when I took office,” she said.
“I could not access my office for two weeks and all department property, including vehicles, had to be recalled.
“I was subject to insubordination from acting secretary Anna Solomon so when the suspension was due I asked for the suspension to be lifted.”
Toni said the decision was from the government of the day exercising its political will and it would now be up to an independent investigation to be carried out on both Klapat and Solomon.