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National Court decision against senior public servant

The Chief Secretary to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Mr Joseph Nobetau, has expressed his satisfaction with today’s decision in the Application for Leave to Apply for Judicial Review by Mr. Leslie Tseraha.

The Chief Secretary said, “the decision was handed down by Justice Kina Bona of the National Court in relation to an application by Mr. Tseraha challenging the validity of a decision I made in April 2018 dismissing Mr. Tseraha from the Bougainville Public Service.

“In the initial stages of Mr. Tseraha’s proceedings, the National Court stayed the dismissal orders made by me pending the application for Leave to Apply for Judicial Review. Justice Bona’s decision means the end of the stay on my dismissal of Mr. Tseraha. That means that my dismissal order against him is now in operation and that Mr. Tseraha is no longer an employee of the ABG in any capacity.

“My dismissal of Mr. Tseraha was amongst the initial steps I have taken to deal with mismanagement and other problems in the Bougainville Public Service. A number of other people have been dismissed as part of the same process. It is against this background that I am particularly pleased with Justice Bona’s decision. I see his ruling as a valuable precedent in relation to any similar proceedings taken out by other persons who have been dismissed from the Bougainville Public Service.

“The fact is that in making my decision I adhered to the law. Mr. Tseraha was charged with misconduct. He was afforded natural justice. His response was considered, and necessary consultations were made. And following lawful and due process, a decision was taken to terminate his employment.

“Positions in the public service are meant to be filled by individuals who are willing to serve the people of Bougainville. Nobody is guaranteed a position unless they serve the people. The people of Bougainville can be assured that the program of action against mismanagement and other problems in the public service will continue, and that I remain steadfast in my commitment to deliver on reform.”

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