10 Feb 2011

Cooks politicians reprimanded for not following proper employment process

5:26 pm on 10 February 2011

The Cook Islands public service commissioner, Navy Epati, has warned cabinet ministers and their staffs over attempts to privately negotiate the employment of heads of ministries and chief executives.

The warning follows confirmation by the office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Planning, Teariki Heather, that discussions on employment possibilities have been held between Mr Heather and the former financial secretary Sholan Ivaiti.

There's speculation that Mr Heather offered Mr Ivaiti the top job in Infrastructure and Planning.

Our correspondent in Rarotonga, Florence Syme Buchanan, reports.

"The current infrastructure and planning CEO Otheniel Tangianau has a valid three year contract signed in September last year which he hopes the Public Service Commissioner will honour. Mr Epati has cautioned that there is a process under the public service act for the selection and appointment of heads of ministries and CEOs and only that process is acceptable under the law. Mr Epati says anything else would be deceit."