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Commissioning of the first Ombusdsman for Tonga ‘Aisea Taumoepeau

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 15/03/2017

The Ombudsman Commission has an important role in upholding rights of workers by investigating abuse of office and corruption or any wrongdoing alleged against civil servants.

The official commissioning of the Ombudsman’s office was held this morning at the Tano’a International Hotel. 

In his welcoming address, the ombudsman – ‘Aisea Taumoepeau spoke of the commissions vital role.

“The ombudsman is not about politics, it is not about power it is about efficient service and good governance, It is about making sure that all Tongan is accorded fairness in their dealings with public authorities, that the rule of law is maintained, this shall ensure that Tongan live in harmony”, says ‘Aisea Taumoepeau.

The keynote address was delivered by the Speaker of the Legislative assembly Lord Tu’ivakano.

He says democracy in Tonga is premature; therefore the ombudsman office will play such a vital role to the people.

“Since 2010, remarkable changes has been made to our constitution notably that the monarchy has relinquished some of his powers to the cabinet and to the legislative assembly. This was a landmark political change to our form of government retaining constitutional monarchy whilst recognising a more democratic structure for both parliament and the executive arms. Prior to this, in 2001 the commissioner for public relation act came into force champions by the late king Tupou the V, when he was crown prince, this act gave effect to the appointment of the commissioner for public relation by His Majesty in council”, says Lord Tu’ivakano.

Meanwhile the Deputy Prime Minister – Siaosi Sovaleni says, the government supports the role carried out by the ombudsman commission especially its work towards the abuse of powers.

“Government supports the change from the office being under government and cabinet to now being under the legislative assembly. This ensures the independent of the ombudsman by achieving independence this has adequately to its reliability of credibility. Under your current act the PM can direct any matter with the concern of the ombudsman as a matter for investigation and I understand the Prime Minister has exercise this. I am confident in ombudsman process to achieve a fair and respectable outcome. The services of the ombudsman are to check abuse of administrative powers”, says Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni.

Attending this morning’s program were nobles of the realm, cabinet members, senior officials of Government Ministries, related stakeholders and many others.        

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