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Papua New Guinea

Tug of war over CS top post

BY LYNETTE KIL

lkil@spp.comm.pg

The man claiming to be the incoming acting commissioner is Superintendent of CS Commandant Staff Training College, Bernard Nepo, who is preparing to take over the role as the new head of the CS Department tomorrow.

Mr Nepo told the Post-Courier last Friday that he was twice appointed by the National Executive Council in 2016 as Acting CS Commissioner and his appointment is still intact

Mr Nepo last Friday visited CS headquarter in Waigani and met with Acting and Deputy CS Commissioners informing them of his return as new commissioner.

“My lawyers will also be serving notice to Minister for Correctional Service and Commissioner Michael Waipo,” he said.

“What actually happen was that in 2014 when the Commissioner of PNG Correctional Service late Martin Baltazar passed away the position was advertised.

“We applied, a couple of others were screened and short listed, and I was one of them, the second best candidate enlisted while incumbent Michael Waipo took the post,” said Mr Nepo.

He claimed that after a year in office the then Minister for CS, Tony Aimo revoked Waipo’s appointment finding incompetency in his performance.

“A submission for me as the Acting CS Commissioner was made to NEC by Ministerial Executive Appointment Committee (MEAC) and NEC reached the decision for me to be Acting CS in 2016 on February 9,” said Mr Nepo.

He however, said Mr Waipo took the matter to court on the grounds that his (Nepo) appointment did not follow the proper process and the court decision was in favor of Waipo.

“MEAC sat again the second time and start the process again, and retired Mr Waipo as Commissioner and appointed me again and made submission to NEC.

“The NEC will deliberate on the submission and reached a decision on December 1, 2016, to be Acting CS but the decision is yet to be formalised due a purported court order being served,” claimed Mr Nepo.

“I don’t want to be a standoff officer I am a career officer for more than 33 years in Correctional Service.

“In a discipline force a department cannot be without a departmental head, that’s where I will come in on September 26,” Mr Nepo said.

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