Infrastructure CEO suspended with no pay in latest round of years-long battle to keep job

    The CEO of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ringo Fa’oliu, has been suspended without pay.

    Chairman of the Public Service Commission Simione Sefanaia said Fa’oliu had been suspended following a complaint about his services.

    Sefania told the Tonga Broadcasting Commission the PSC was investigating the complaint filed against Fa’oliu.

    Fa’oliu was  CEO of the Ministry from 2012 to 2015.

    He was not reappointed in 2015 after the then Commission chairman, Mr ‘Uhila Liava’a, wrote to the Minister claiming a series of reports indicated that during Fa’oliu’s term there had been failures to comply with procurement procedures, significant overpayments to contractors and the inappropriate use of daily paid workers.

    As Kaniva news reported at the time, Fa’oliu launched a legal challenge that ended with a judicial declaration that the PSC’s decision was unlawful.

    Lord Chief Justice Paulsen said the PSC decision to cancel the reappointment of Fa’oliu was biased and partial.

    He said Liava’a had sat on the Committee that prepared one of the reports that reflected badly on Fa’oliu’s fitness to be CEO of the Ministry, the judge said.

    He then sat on the Commission to consider Fa’oliu’s appointment and was likely to have already formed a view that Fa’oliu was not a suitable person to be reappointed to that role.

    “I think any fair minded observer would conclude that Liava’a was likely to have had a biased disposition towards Fa’oliu,” the judge said.

    The main points

    • The CEO of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ringo Fa’oliu, has been suspended without pay.
    • Fa’oliu was  CEO of the Ministry from 2012 to 2015.

    For more information

    CEO of Infrastructure suspended

    Govt official who successfully sued PSC returns to Infrastructure’s CEO role

    Supreme Court declares Public Service Commission’s decision on CEO was unlawful

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