Public Report on the improper procedures used to extend the employment contract of Dr. Trinata A. Mananahar, a Dental Officer at Vila General Hospital - June 24, 1999 - Emalus Campus
The Ombudsman launched an investigation after receiving a complaint about the extension of Dr. Manandharís contract. The investigation revealed that Dr Manandhar was first appointed as a Dental Officer at the Port Vila Central Hospital on a two year contract on March 16, 1993. During the term of this contract, a complaint was made about his poor work. This complaint was referred to Mr Lesines, Acting Director of the Public Service Commission with a recommendation that Dr. Manandharís contract be terminated. This complaint and recommendation were not acted upon.
At the expiration of his contract in 1995, Dr.Manandhar applied to the Ministry of Health for a renewal of his contract. On the instructions of the Minister of Health, the Public Service Commission renewed the contract.
In 1996 another complaint was made about the quality of Dr. Manandarís work but this complaint was not passed by the Department of Health to the Public Service Department. When the second contract ended, Dr. Manandar made a request to the Department of Health for another renewal of his contract. This request was not acted upon due to the outstanding complaint. However, Dr. Manandar wrote to directly to the Prime Minister, R. Serge Vohor requesting a renewal. The Prime Ministerís secretary, Mr. Anoine Pikioune then instructed the Public Service Commission to renew the contract. The Ministry of Health and the Department of Health were not consulted and were unaware of the decision to renew the contract for the second time. The contract was extended for 6 months. By this point, the Ombudsmanís investigation had commenced and information was sought regarding the intended renewal of the contract.
In December 1997, Dr. Manandhar made several attempts to meet with the Prime Minister to secure another extension of his contract. However, he left the country in February 1998 without any extension being granted.
The investigation found that the section 60 and 66 of the Constitution (dealing with the independence of the Public Service Commission the Leadership Code) and section 20 of the Public Service Act (which makes it an offence to influence the Public Service Commission) had been breached. Specifically, the conduct of Mr. Lesines, Acting Director of the Public Service Department in not acting on a departmental request to terminate Dr. Manandharís contract was unjust and based on improper motives .
The actions of Dr. Tambisari, Medical Superintendant of the Vila Central Hospital were contrary to the Constitution and the Public Service Act in that he gave instructions to the Public Service Commission which influenced its decision in relation to Dr. Manandharís contract.
The First Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Pikioune acted similarly acted contrary to law in issuing instructions to the Public Service Commission in relation to Dr. Manandharís contract.
The members of the 1995 Public Service Commission acted contrary to section 60(4) of the Constitution in allowing themselves to be influenced in the exercise of their duties.
∑ That Mr. Lesines not be appointed to any position of responsibility in the Public Sector.
∑ That Dr. Tambisari should not be appointed again in any management position in the Public Sector.
∑ That Mr. Pikioune not be appointed to any public sector position where he would be tempted to influence Government agencies in the exercise of their functions.
∑ That the members of the Public Service Commission who allowed themselves to be influenced not be appointed again as members of the Public Service Commission or any Government department or statutory body.
Written by Edward R. Hill
UNDP Governance and Accountability Project
© Ombudsman of Vanuatu
Published here by University of the South Pacific, School of Law Web Site - www.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj