OC urged to start probing

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 3rd, 2013

 THE appointment of the Chief Ombudsman Commissioner has been hailed as timely in the face of a backlog of administrative and leadership complaints.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last month named Rigo Lua, a former Public Service Commission chairman as Chief Ombudsman. The office had been vacant for more than a year.

The appointment was made after concerns were raised by watchdog organisations such as Transparency International and line departments to speed up the process because of the importance of the office as there was a backlog of complaints to be investigated. 

Sources said the appointment of Lua was in the best interest of the country as it complemented the current government’s focus on fighting corruption and good governance.

As Lua takes office, several concerned citizens and senior public servants have called on the commission to immediately pursue investigations into complaints registered.

Among some of the leadership complaints believed to have been lodged is one against the Auditor-General Philip Nauga.

Sources said several allegations were raised against Nauga under the leadership code. 

He was appointed acting auditor-general on Oct 14, 2011, and a permanent appointment for six years on April 3 this year. 

The allegations relate to appointments of close associates and relatives to senior positions, bypassing processes and creating positions that did not exist.