Public report on the improper conduct by Mr. Hilton Tarileo, Deputy Director of Cooperatives Department, and lack of disciplinary action against Mr. Tarileo – May 7, 1998 - Emalus Campus
During April, 1996, Ms M., an expatriate Women’s Business Advisor arranged with Mr. Hilton Tarileo, Deputy Director of the Cooperatives Department to borrow a vehicle belonging to the Cooperative Department for use in a survey. Two weeks later, she attempted to confirm the arrangement with Mr. Tarileo in his office. He then advised her that she could not borrow the vehicle. A heated discussion ensued during which Ms M. slammed a calculator down on Mr. Tarileo’s desk. He responded by slapping her on the face.
Ms M. complained about the incident to the Director of the Cooperatives Department, Mr. Robert Figa. Three days later Mr. Figa sent a letter to Mr. Tarileo advising him that his behaviour was not acceptable. He should have complied with the provisions of the Public Service Staff Manual and interviewed Mr. Tarileo. Considering that the matter was being treated too lightly, Ms M. then wrote to the Chairman of the Public Service Commission. The Public Service Commission decided to take no further steps unless a similar incident occurred. On April 26, 1996, Ms M. complained to the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman found that although Ms M’s behaviour may have been provocative, it did not justify physical assault; a breach of the Penal Code. The Director of the Public Service Commission, Mr. J. Wabaiat, the then Acting Director of the Public Service Department, Ms. M. Chabot, and the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Mr. Joseph Calo breached the Leadership Code in failing to follow up and take appropriate action.
· That Mr. Tarileo be formally reprimanded by the Public Service Commission.
· That Mr. Tarileo apologize to Ms M.
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