Council to terminate ABG top officer’s contract

The Bougainville Executive Council has resolved to terminate the contract of Joseph Nobetau as Chief Secretary to the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

President and chairman of the BEC, Dr John Momis, announced the decision following the conclusion of the special BEC meeting on Friday, August 23rd.

He said the decision to terminate Nobetau was made in the best interest of Bougainville’s unity as the people move closer to the conduct of the referendum in three months’ time.

The BEC earlier referred Nobetau to the Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee (BSAC) on allegations of incompetence and insubordination.

On the other hand, Nobetau issued a statement over the weekend after he was made aware of the decision on Friday August 23.  

Responding to Bougainville’s New Dawn FM, he said: “While I await for details of this decision, it is appropriate that I be afforded a right of reply in full accordance with the law.

“I would also note that the BEC does not have lawful authority to terminate the contract of any senior public servant (Chief Secretary or any Department Head), a fact enshrined in our Constitution as a means of protecting the independence of the Public Service.

“I will of course now be considering all my options and I will be making a full statement, in due course, after I have been able to consider all the facts in this matter.

“Until then, my resolve remains unchanged. I will continue to do what I believe is just and right for the people of Bougainville.”

In the meantime, the BEC has appointed the Deputy Chief Secretary (Policy and Strategic Planning) Colonel Thomas Raivet as acting Chief Secretary while arrangements are being made to advertise the position.

The acting appointment is effective forthwith and will be in force until a permanent Chief Secretary is appointed through the normal recruitment and selection process for Heads of Departments of the Bougainville Public Service.

(Joseph Nobetau file picture)

Sally Pokiton