Posted by: nativeiowan | August 3, 2011

the rot on capitol hill

George is a long time aparatchick and a close cousin to the PM… I wonder what is a foot when a long time crony like George gets the ax…

Foreign Affairs PS fired

FOREIGN Affairs and External Trade permanent secretary George Hiele has been reportedly terminated from office, sources within the ministry say.

However, the ministry has played down Mr Hiele’s removal stating that he was reshuffled to take up his new post in the Western Province as the provincial secretary.
Reasons behind his sacking are unknown but it is understood he vacated office Friday last week.

The Solomon Star understands Mr Hiele was replaced by trade expert and former Solomon Islands ambassador to Brussels Robert Sisilo.

Mr Sisilo was a former foreign affairs secretary in Nauru as well as the former Pacific Islands Forum permanent representative at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva.

It is understood the decision has not go down well with some top officials within the ministry as well as Mr Hiele.

The Solomon Star contacted Mr Hiele yesterday but he refused to comment.

“I have no comments,” Mr Hiele said in a harsh tone and hanged up before the Solomon Star could ask him questions.

The source said Mr Hiele’s removal has shocked a lot of officers within the ministry itself as Mr Hiele is one of the longest serving and well-respected officers in the public service.

“The choice of appointing or reshuffling permanent secretaries is the prerogative of the prime minister and his ministers but we understand this is not the case,” the source said.

According to the source, the move to eliminate Mr Hiele was orchestrated by some senior appointees within the ministry.

The Solomon Star could not get comments from the newly appointed Mr Sisilo or the Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Shanel because they left for Port Moresby to attend a ministerial meeting yesterday.

The Solomon Star understands in the past permanent secretaries are appointed by the Public Service Commission.

But in recent years, permanent secretaries have become the prerogative of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet ministers.

Therefore, with the country’s political system in which the ruling Government is not always stable, permanent secretaries posts are not always stable as well, although past Governments prefer not to make any changes when they come into power.

Last month two of the female permanent secretaries, Jane Waitara and Mylyn Kuve were also replaced.

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