27 Mar 2007

Staff suspended over Kiribati scholarship row likely to face further disciplinary action

7:54 pm on 27 March 2007

Kiribati's deputy secretary for Ministry of Education Tarsu Murdoch says the public service commission is expected to make a decision shortly on disciplinary action for two staff members allegedly involved in last year's scholarship row.

An inquiry was held into the government's controversial allocation of scholarships in 2006 to study at the university of the South Pacific in Fiji, when it was discovered the recipients didn't qualify for degree programmes.

Ms Murdoch says she hasn't seen the outcome of that inquiry.

She says last November the ministry suspended two staff members - the scholarship officer Ciroam Neeri and the former director of education Meita Beiabure.

"The Ministry has put in their submission to this body and we're still waiting for the outcome of the submission, as to what sort of disciplinary action has been approved by the commission. That was put in last year, but they haven't come up with the final decision as yet."

But Radio Kiribati's news editor Roz Terebea says the two men claim they were wrongfully dismissed.

He says calls to make the scholarship inquiry public are likely to keep resurfacing.

It's still far from over. I think with the elections coming up, a number of people will still be asking questions of that controversial incident. Like what was actually involved in it and what actually is the content of that commission's report. I think there are much unanswered questions.

Radio Kiribati's news editor, Roz Terebea