Integrity of the office questioned
LEADER of Opposition Jeremiah Manele had vowed to demand severe disciplinary action against two senior officers in the Opposition office accused of misconduct.
Mr Manele told the Solomon Star in a telephone interview that he was taking the issue as a matter of serious concern.
The Opposition leader was reacting to allegations that two senior officers, a male and a female working in the office of the Opposition leader had been involved in misconduct activities in the course of duty.
Meanwhile a senior official from the Prime Minister’s Office accused the Opposition leader of poor leadership by remaining silent and secretive about the issue.
He said, since the office of the Leader of Opposition is a public office, the public have a right to know what is going on there.
He pointed out that it is the integrity of the office that is paramount and must not be allowed to be abused by acts of misconduct by those mandated to run it.
The official said the Office of the Prime Minister was fully aware that misconduct activities in the office of the Leader of Opposition had been going on for some time.
The official said, surprisingly the leader of Opposition had seen it fit to remain silent by not doing anything about the matter until the situation got worse when a partner of one of the accused officers erupted in great anger and protested when she turned up at the office of the Opposition Leader.
The official said, it does not hold logic for the Opposition leader to bark so much about public officers pulling up their socks and show cause for loyalty to work when he is unable to clean up his own back yard.
But the Leader of Opposition Mr Manele denied having any prior knowledge about breaches and misconduct by two senior officials from his office.
Mr Manele said, he is now fully aware that an internal investigation of the matter had been carried out and he is waiting to know the result of that investigation.
The Opposition Leader said since senior Government officers are governed by the Public Service regulations procedures, the fate of the officers concerned would be dealt with by the Ministry of Public Service and the Public Service commission under those regulations.
Mr Manele pointed out that the Office of the Leader Opposition however does not entertain any such acts of misconduct by anyone be it public officers or politicians for that matter.
He said, as leader of the current Parliamentary Opposition, he is duty bound to ensure the integrity of the office is maintained at the highest respectable level at all times.
The Opposition leader said, he would however recommend to the Ministry of Public Service that if the allegations are factually substantiated by the investigation, the officers concerned should be severely disciplined accordingly.
Mr Manele said, he would not hesitate to recommend exit marching orders or termination from employment.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI