Electricity Commission dismissal, complaints, escalate into war of words on internet

Complaints by dismissed Electricity Commissioner Interim CEO Paula Tupou have escalated into a war of words on the internet with the man who fired him, Finance Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa.

As Kaniva News reported, Hon Tu’i’onetoa terminated Tupou’s contract with the EC, claiming he was unable to perform his functions of the office of the Commission.

Hon Tu’i’onetoa complained that he had received too many e-mails from Tupou after he was sacked.

The Minister told Tupou he believed he was troubled by his dismissal and begged him to cool down.

The Minister told Tupou in an e-mail that he had complained about the appointment of outgoing lawyer Seinimili Tu’i’onetoa Fonua, claiming it was illegal, but said  Cabinet had the power to appoint her.

As we reported, the Minister of Finance said his appointment of his niece, Fonua, as a Commissioner of the Electricity Commission did not breach the government’s employment regulations.

However, Tupou rejected the Minister’s claims.

“You will not be tried by the Cabinet. You will be tried by a Judge according to Law not according to Cabinet decisions,” Tupou claimed.

Complaint to Ombudsman

Tupou has also lodged a formal complaint against Hon Tu’i’onetoa with the ombudsman.

He claimed the Minister breached the Public Service Act 2010 (Section 19), code of ethics and conduct for the public service rules by allowing Fonua to be a commissioner for more than nine months.

He claimed the Minister had the sole authority, according to the Act, to dismiss Electricity Commissioners for misconduct and he had failed to dismiss Fonua until what he claimed was her illegal employment was exposed in the media and forced her to resign on August 2.

For more information

New EC commissioners appointed; govt terminates Interim CEO Paula Tupou’s contract

Minister says his appointment of his niece not illegal; Fonua’s contract with EC legal

Clash in Electricity Commission over PSC probe into lawyer Fonua’s alleged breach of employment laws

1 COMMENT

  1. Ko e lāunga ‘a e CEO Fakataimi ‘a e Komisoni ‘Uhila’ ne tuku ange’ Paula Tupou kuo fakalalahi ia ki ha felau’aki he ‘initaneti’ mo e tangata na’a’ ne tuku ia ki tu’a’ ‘a ia ko e Minisitā Pa’anga ‘Onapolo Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa.

    Ne fakatokanga ‘a e ‘Eiki Minisitaa’ kia Tupou kuo fu’u lahi ‘a ‘ene ngaahi ‘īmeili ange kiate ia hili hono tuku ia ki tu’a.

    Na’e pehē ‘e he Minisitaa’ ‘oku’ ne tui kuo uesia ‘a Tupou he me’a’ ni pea’ ne kole ke fiemālie pe.

    Na’a’ ne fakahā kuo lāunga ‘a Tupou ‘i hono fakangāue’i ‘o e loea ko Seinimili Tu’i’onetoa Fonua ka na’e fakalao pe ia pea ‘oku fa’iteliha pe Kapineti ia ke ne fokotu’u ha taha ngāue fakapule’anga ke hoko ko ha komisiona.

    Na’a’ ne toe pehē ‘oku ‘ikai ha kaunga ia ‘a e PSC ki he taimi ‘oku fakanofo ai ‘e he Kapineti ha Komisona.

    Kaekehe ne faka’ikai’i ‘eni ia ‘e Tupou mo ne pehē ki he Minisitaa’ ‘e ‘ikai ke fakamaau’i ia ‘e ha tu’utu’uni Kapineti ka ko ha fakamaau ‘i fale hopo fakatatau mo e lao’.

    Na’e toe fakahū atu foki ‘e Tupou ‘ene lāunga’i ‘e ia ‘o e Minisitaa’ ki he ‘Ōfisi ‘o e Omipatimeni ‘o ne pehē kuo’ ne maumau’i ‘a e lao’ tu’unga he’ene kei fakangāue’i ‘a Fonua he taimi ne ‘i he Komisoni ai’ he māhina ‘e hiva taimi tatau ne toe hoko ‘a Fonua ko e Tokoni CEO he Potungāue Ma’a e Kakai’.

    ‘Oku tukuaki’i ‘e Tupou ia ‘oku maumau heni e lao PSC koe’uhi ‘oku tapu ke ngāue ua ha taha ngāue fakapule’anga.

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