A direction by the late ‘Akilisi Pōhiva government to appoint computer expert Piveni Piukala to lead its electronic government reform process has been revoked.
The Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa’s cabinet said today “the proposed appointment of Mr Piveni Piukala was handpicked and without proper due processes.”
It said there was “no agreed Terms of Reference in place,” a cabinet statement said.
“Mr Piukala did not meet the set criteria of the World Bank, the funding agency for the project i.e. the educational and professional work achievements stipulated by the World Bank policy that the Lead Consultant should have.”
The cabinet decision to revoke the proposal was made yesterday 13 November 2019.
Piukala was proposed on 30 January 2019 to lead a “Reform Technical Task Force for Planning, Budgeting and Aid at the Ministry of Finance.”
The reform process included e-government and digitization planning across government, it said.
“The present Government regretted that this proposed appointment has to be rescinded in this way, but this World Bank project is so important for the government and the future of Tonga, and this decision has to be regularized.”
Piukala, who is also the Director of Tonga Cable, was employed by the former government in a number of projects including reforming the education system’s student marking assessment format.
The standardized marks system introduced in 2002 was reviewed under this reform and was terminated before the raw marks marking system was introduced in 2015.
The change was protested by some leading scholars in Tonga.
A leaked government report in 2016 on what had been described as the “rushed reform of Tonga’s education system” in 2015 revealed “confusion and concern within the Ministry and points to serious systemic failures that will take years to sort out.”
Four years later, and as Kaniva news reported earlier this year, the Ministry of Education Assessment unit said this year’s results were the highest since the new examination assessment system was adopted in 2015.
The former Prime Minister’s son Siaosi Pōhiva attributed the success and improvement to the new raw marks assessment system.