Government restructures SPG committee after Lord Sevele refuses to step down

The Tongan government said Lord Sevele’s committee for the South Pacific Games 2019 (SPG) would continue on in its assigned roles but said it has removed the role to oversee the construction and gave it to the Government Facilities Committee.

The government said an Audit and Governance Authority committee was also established to make sure a mechanism is in place to provide oversight of the financial reporting process and system of internal controls and compliance with laws and regulations.

It said the move has been made to make sure the preparation for the Games would be successful and fast.

The announcement comes after the Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva wrote to Lord Sevele and his Tonga Pacific Games Organising Committee members in December 2015 and demanded they submitted their resignation no later than December 18, 2015.

The Prime Minister claimed the committee was making slow progress in preparation for the Games.

The Prime Minister told Lord Sevele, the Chair of SPGC 2019, the Secretary General Takitoa Taumoepeau, Committee Member Sakopo Lolohea and Newly Appointed Consultant Ringo Fa’oliu on December 15 last year to voluntarily resign by December 18.

However, Lord Sevele responded and told the Prime Minister he and his committee disagreed with his concerns and claims.

The Former Prime Minister told Hon Pohiva he and his committee would not step down.

In January the Prime Minister’s Office said Hon Pohiva was waiting for an advice from government department heads before he could respond to Lord Sevele’s refusal to resign.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office last week said the government has formalised three government bodies to take care of the preparation for the Games and they were the Government Facilities Committee, South Pacific Organising Committee and the Audit and Governance Authority Committee.

It said the  Organising Committee would continue on with its roles for the Games while the two other new committees were established to take part in monitoring the operation.


PM waits for advice from department heads after Lord Sevele refuses to resign from Olympic body

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