A number of police officers who are sick and no longer working are still drawing salaries from the state and occupying police houses, the Sunday Star can reveal.
Two such officers are living in Honiara, while one is in Buala, Isabel.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service Ishmael Avui could not be reached for comments on this as he was away overseas.
But a senior officer within the ministry said under the Public Service general orders, public officers have only limited number of days to take on sick leave.
“If the number of days is exhausted, the officer or the ministry responsible has to seek a medical report to recommend to the Public Service Commission that the officer is now unfit to perform his duties and can retire under medical grounds,” she explained.
Asked about the case of the three police officers, she said this shows the ministry’s human resource department and the commissioner of police are not doing their jobs.
“The Public Service will not know all these unless we are informed by the respective ministries.”
A former police officer said this is a clear example of the force’s weak leadership.
“There are many active police officers out there who deserve to live in the houses these sick officers are occupying,” he said.
“Why keep these sick officers who are now doing nothing but yet continue to receive full salaries.
“Some of these officers are sick for up to fours years. This is unbelievable. They are stealing tax payers’ money,” the former officer said.
Questions on this sent to the commissioner of police early last week have never been answered.
One senior police officer spoken to said to his understanding of the police general orders, any officer who is sick for sick months should retire under medical grounds.
“But I can’t understand why these officers despite being sick and incapable to perform their duties continue to sit back in their homes for the past years and receive full salaries as if they are actively carrying out their duties,” the senior officer said.
He said these officers are stealing public money and should be charged.
He stressed that the police need to clean up its backyard before going out there to enforce law and order.