27 Feb 2019

Tonga ombudsman investigating public enterprises

10:11 pm on 27 February 2019

Tonga's ombudsman has announced an inquiry into allegations of poor administration by the boards of public enterprises.

Tonga's Ombudsman 'Aisea Taumoepeau

Tonga's Ombudsman 'Aisea Taumoepeau Photo: Ombudsman office

At the end of last year, local media reported some board members were spending excessively, taking loans, being paid thousands in bonuses and overtime and travelling to Europe.

The Ombudsman of Tonga, Aisea Taumoepeau, said he was now carrying out what he calls an Own Motion Investigation into the allegations.

He said his office and the Ministry of Public Enterprises have agreed to work in partnership and the investigation should not be taken as a negative reflection on the ministry.

He says the probe's being carried out in the public interest and he has requested relevant information from the ministry.

"I see this as a query into whether these allegations are substantiated or otherwise," Aisea Taumoepeau said.

"Either way, it will be for the benefit of the Ministry to remedy any shortfall in the Public Enterprises concerned, or be assured there is no undesirable maladministration in the operation of Public Enterprises".