Pōhiva says Interim Chief Secretary to cabinet's contract lawful

The Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. ʻAkilisi Pōhiva said the current Interim Chief Secretary (ICS) and Interim Secretary to Cabinet (ISC)  was employed according to Tonga’s employment rules.

The Prime Minister was responding to a letter from the Public Servants Association (PSA) alleging the current ICS and ISC’s employment contract was “invalid” and “unlawful”.

Hon. Pohiva said after he sought advice from the office of the Attorney General he was satisfied with the way how the interim secretary was officially appointed.

The Prime Minister went on to say the “blame” should be put on the Public Service Commission (PSC) as it “failed to make an appointment of a substantive office holder within the statutory requirements of 12 months. This is not the fault of the incumbent, and it is incorrect and improper to blame him”.

The current ICS and ISC contract with government would end soon and an interview was conducted in Nuku’alofa recently by a PSC panel to appoint a new Chief Secretary and Secretary to cabinet.

The panel’s recommendation has been withheld following a complaint launched with the Prime Minister’s office.

For more information

You can read the Prime Minister’s response in full here

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