Ombudsman Commission

OC welcomes court ruling

Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick said the decision reiterates its position as an institution that will protect the constitution and promote good governance.

The reference was purposely to look at the constitutionality of the 2006 amendments to section 27(4) of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership, relating to changes in the rules of evidence in a leadership tribunal.  

Leader’s suspension effective on charge presentation

A five-man Supreme Court bench by majority clarified this through a special reference that was filed by the Ombudsman Commission.

The reference sought interpretation over the issue of leaders’ suspension from office once a leader’s conduct becomes subject to a Leadership Tribunal proceeding.

The commission sought clarification from the Supreme Court based from three conflicting Supreme Court decisions on the issue.

ICAC Bill covers all public servants, not OC

Secretary of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission, Dr Eric Kwa, says under the ICAC Bill, any corrupt activity at the National to Local Government Level will be dealt with, unlike the OC.

He said when the ICAC Bill was first proposed, there were questions raised about the duplicated roles it would serve in parallel with the Ombudsman Commission.

However, Dr Kwa clarified that both institutions play very different roles, with the OC only dealing with specific leaders in the country while the ICAC has a much wider reach.

PM seeks joinder in OC reference

This special reference first went before court on July 28, where the Ombudsman Commission obtained an extension on the return of writs to ensure the remaining electorates’ writs can be returned, and elected MPs can have a say in the election of the Speaker of Parliament and Prime Minister.

PM’s lawyer Desmond Kipa, of Twivey Lawyers, told the Supreme Court that application to intervene was filed on September 14.

VIDEO: Suspicious Spending

This comes after huge sums of money were withdrawn from project accounts just before the Ombudsman Commission issued a directive in April to have the accounts frozen in preparation for the 20-17 national Elections.


Meredith Kuusa with more 

More questions to be added for court interpretation

Lawyer for the commission, Dr Vergil Narokobi today indicated in court they will amend and refile the special reference they filed earlier and include additional questions for the Supreme Court’s interpretation.

This is the special reference that went before court on July 28, under section 19(2) of the constitution, which they successfully took out orders, on Friday 4; 30pm of July 28, extending the return of writs from July 28 to July 31, at 2pm.

OC refers Sir Bernard to Public Prosecutor

In a statement released today, the OC said it decided to refer Sir Bernard to the Public Prosecutor for an independent deliberation following its investigation of alleged misconduct in office.

Chief Ombudsman Michael Dick said in the statement that the referral is now in the hands of the Public Prosecutor, who has the discretion either to bring, or decline to bring, the proceeding, under the Leadership Code, for alleged misconduct in office in accordance to section 177(1)(b) of the Constitution.

OC refers auditor-general to public prosecutor

In a statement, the OC said it conducted an investigation, granted Nauga a right to be heard (which he responded to), and having deliberated on the matter, has determined that there is a prima facie case that Nauga has been guilty of misconduct.

“As required by section 20(2) of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership, the Commission has notified Nauga of its intentions to refer the matter to the public prosecutor.

Female political participation needs boost

The United Nations Development Programme has joined the Registrar of Political Parties, the Ombudsman Commission and the highest polling female candidate in the national elections, Rufina Peter, to issue the appeal.

This comes after the 2017 10th Parliament sitting saw the absence of woman MPs.

Assistant Representative for UNDP and Head of Governance, Julie Bukikun, said for the first time in 25 years, since the 1992 elections, more female candidates were nominated for elections than ever before; 167 of 3,332 were female candidates.

Court extends return of writs

The Ombudsman Commission filed a special reference in the Supreme Court and successfully obtained the orders on Friday at 4:30pm.

The court allowed for the extension of the return of writs from July 28 to July 31.

Ombudsman Commission was ordered to serve the court orders on the Electoral Commission by Friday 10pm.

The Clerk of Parliament and Secretary for Justice will also have to be served the orders by 2pm of Saturday, July 29.

The writs were returned to the head of state on Friday at 4pm, however only 80 of the 111 electorates’ writs were given.