Allegations against Forest officers clarified - Solomon Star News

Allegations against Forest officers clarified

13 February 2018

The Ministry of Forestry and Research on Monday stepped in to clarify allegations made against certain Forestry officials that frequented loggers’ offices to demand for cash.

The revelations were made over the weekend in the Sunday Star Newspaper issue dated 11th February 2018.

In a statement, the Ministry has appealed to those making such an allegation to come forth with names of individuals or people who did such, so formal procedures to dealing with such issue is followed suit accordingly.

The newspaper report was based on reports by a claimed landowner in Auki that some officer’s regularly visit the offices of logging companies in Honiara to ask for cash.

Permanent Secretary, Dr Vaeno Vigulu said whilst he appreciated the concerns raised, it is un-procedural for the complainant to go straight and speak to the media.

“There are avenues available to dealing with such an issue, and none of these have yet been exhausted.

“It is only proper that such allegations labelled against my officers be forwarded to my office for thorough investigation to be taken,” he said.

Dr Vigulu acknowledged the explanation made by the Chairman of the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) Solomon Kalu which covers the disciplinary procedures and the consequences to be faced.

“The Ministry is fully aware of the disciplinary procedures as explained, and we stand to abide by those procedures.”

He added, explaining that the Ministry has its procedures as well that are in place to discipline its officers internally thus this issue is not a stand-alone one.

“We welcome any complaints as such however it is more proper that it be forwarded through the rightful channel.

“This will allow relevant authorities to deal with the issue at hand promptly and accordingly,” says the Permanent Secretary.

Dr Vigulu then reiterates his call that if there are any complaints as such, forwards it through his office.

“We will not tolerate such an attitude and behaviour.”

- MoFR Press