The Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) strongly condemns a grossly misleading news item in the Island Sun newspaper, which suggests that the Ministry orchestrated the suspension of the Malaita Provincial Secretary, Frederick Fa’abasua.
The news item authored by reporter Eddie Osifelo is not only untrue and malicious, but a reflection of bad journalism that attempts to stir confusion and instability in the public arena. It would be more appropriate if the MPGIS is consulted for the other side of the story before the news is published.
A statement from the MPGIS today clarified that the Provincial Secretary for Malaita Province is suspended based on allegations raised by former disgruntled Malaita workers. Based on documents submitted, the Ministry of Public Service (MPS) perused those matters reported by former employees. Based on the allegations, the MPS carried out a preliminary investigation and decided to suspend the Public Officer to give way for a full investigation.
“These cases were brought forward by concerned and aggrieved citizens and not in any way reflect any attempts by the MPGIS or the Solomon Islands Government to tarnish either the PS or the Malaita Provincial Government,” the statement said.
“The Media sentiment raised by the Island Sun newspaper is unsubstantiated, one sided, crafted to cause instability, and is ludicrous. There is no way the MPGIS attempts to terminate the Provincial Secretary as stated by the Island Sun Newspaper. The Provincial Secretary is a Public Officer and his employment is governed under the auspices of the General Orders and the Public Service Regulations. The MPGIS now would not prefer to dwell into the details of the allegations or suspension as these are matters under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Service (MPS). Whatever comes from the MPS is a matter they themselves can explain and not MPGIS,” the statement added.
The Ministry also condemns rumors that this action is endorsed by the ruling Government.
“The suspension has nothing to do with the current rift between the political governments at the National and Provincial levels. In pure fact, the MPGIS does not have any issues at all when dealing with Malaita. The Ministry itself has work tirelessly to ensure Malaita Provincial Government to work together and collaboratively with the National Government”. It is therefore baseless and morally wrong to imply that the MPGIS has pushed for the removal of PS Malaita,” the statement said.
“The MPGIS has been very hard at work to broker good relationship between the MPG and everyone else in recent months. When it comes to administration work and programs of the MPGIS, we work together and in consultation with the MPG. We have implemented Government development programs thru the PCDF, provide grants to Provinces including Malaita, Work on capacity building programs and have jointly work together in the implementation of ‘community governance’ projects hosted by the MPGIS. We have also even attempt to assist the Premier to attend to medical treatment in Brisbane-Australia. It is therefore ludicrous that these media statements are baseless fallacies and came out only to jeopardize the relationships the MPGIS built with the provinces including Malaita Province,” the statement added.
Again, whatever disciplinary procedures followed by the Ministry of Public Service is based on their regulations and all Public Servants are subjected to these regulations. We therefore appeal to members of the public including the media not to come up with false rumors just to stir-up instability and causes hatred, but allow the processes of the laws of Solomon Islands to take their course. The MPGIS will do all it can to ensure that services will continue despite these misunderstandings.
The MPGIS appeals for calm and understanding since the right authority to deal with this disciplinary case is the Ministry of Public Service.
The Public and the media are encouraged to contact the MPGIS or the Ministry of Public Service if they have confusions or doubts about the matter.