Appointment on merit – Sharma

Acting secretary-general to Parliament Viniana Namosimalua. Picture: FT FILE/JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE Constitutional Offices Commission follows an open merit recruitment and selection process where all constitutional officers are appointed on the basis of merit, says Solicitor-General and secretary of the commission Sharvada Sharma.

He made this comment after being questioned on the re-advertisement of the position of secretary-general to Parliament.

“We cannot comment on the suitability of any applicant or candidate,” Mr Sharma said.

Viniana Namosimalua continues to act as secretary-general to Parliament despite the post being re-advertised twice over the past few months.

She was appointed to the position soon after the 2014 General Election.

Prior to joining Parliament, Mrs Namosimalua worked as the secretary to Cabinet.

In response to questions from this newspaper on whether she had reapplied for the position, the Fijian Parliament said the appointing body was the Constitutional Offices Commission and it was their decision to advertise the post.

“Mrs Viniana Namosimalua is still acting on the position,” said Parliament in response to questions from this newspaper.

Mrs Namosimalua’s contract came to an end in 2017. Mr Sharma said given the vacancy for the position was still open, they were not in a position to comment on any applicant or candidate.

He said the appointment of the acting secretary-general to Parliament would continue until a substantive appointment was made.

“Once the Constitutional Offices Commission has received all applications, interviews will be conducted and a recommendation will be made by the commission to his excellency, the President for an appointment.

“All information with respect to any applicant or candidate for this position is confidential.”

Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka, who is also a member of the commission, said he had not received any notices of the commission meeting.

“This position, as far as I’m concerned as a member of the Constitutional Offices Commission, I have not been informed,” he said.

“I have not been in any discussion.” Mr Rabuka said he hoped to raise the issue in this week’s Parliament sitting.

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