20 Feb 2007

Transparency Solomon Islands calls for appointment of Ombudsman

10:00 am on 20 February 2007

Transparency Solomon Islands has called on the Office of the Governor General to explain the continuing failure to appoint a new ombudsman.

The anti-corruption body says that under the Solomon Islands' constitution, the Ombudsman is intended to be the watchdog of all citizens' rights, so any interference in the appointment is of grave concern.

The Ombudsman's post has been vacant for six months even though the selection panel had chosen a suitable candidate.

TSI says the apparent failure of the Office of the Governor General to act on this advice is extremely disturbing.

It says there is a clear procedure for filling the post, with the Governor General acting on the advice of a panel made up of the Speaker, the Chairman of the Public Service Commission and the Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

TSI says the group agreed on a candidate last November but no appointment has yet been made.