The ongoing saga on the legitimacy of the head of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock is over. Chief Secretary to Government, Manasupe Zurenuoc, confirmed this week that Dr Vele Pat Ila’ava is the current Acting Secretary and not Daniel Kombuk, as reported in the media.
Mr Zurenuoc, in a letter dated 10th July, 2012, wrote to Mr Kombuk advising him that the National Executive Council decision (no. NG 12/2011) to appoint Dr VeleIla’ava as Acting Secretary still stands until such time a permanent appointment is made.
The letter states that the recommendation of the Minister for Public Service to the Public Service Commission to appoint Mr Kombuk as Acting Secretary has been rejected on grounds that the normal Public Service process is in progress to appoint a permanent Secretary for DAL. In the meantime, Dr Ila’ava remains as Acting Secretary as per the current NEC decision to provide leadership in the department and the overall agriculture sector.
On Thursday 12th July 2012, Dr Ila’ava met with DAL staff at Konedobu to inform them that he remains the legitimate Acting Secretary and urged everyone to return to work and perform their professional duties and tasks. He advised staff that his appointment has been gazetted and recognized by the Department of Personnel Management and Public Services Commission and that there should not be any more confusion.
He also said that Mr Kombuk had met with the Chief Secretary who advised him accordingly.