BOUGAINVILLE president John Momis has downplayed rumours that the Bougainville senior appointments committee was biased in its recent selection of top public servants in the autonomous province.
Dr Momis said the selection of departmental heads and the chief secretary had been a rigorous process overseen by a panel of senior public servants.
“I would like to quell any rumours and misinformation that the Bougainville senior appointments committee was one-sided in choosing the departmental heads,” he said.
“There are even rumours suggesting that the new chief secretary, Joseph Nobetau was chosen because he is from Buin District, which happens to be my place of origin,” he added.
Dr Momis reassured the people of Bougainville that the process of appointing Mr Nobetau was one of integrity that determined Mr Nobetau was the best suited candidate for the chief secretary’s position.
“The four new secretaries, James Tanis, Wesley Kenneth, Brenda Toihana and Justin Kehatsin were all chosen upon merit as the best possible candidates,” he said.
Candidates who applied for the departmental heads positions were put through a demanding process where they were screened by a panel consisting of prominent Papua New Guineans and senior public servants such as former Ombudsman Commissioner Illa Gena and Melchior Togolo.
The selection panel made a shortlist of three viable candidates which was presented to the Bougainville Senior Appointments Committee who made the final decision on the best candidates to take up the positions.
The appointments committee comprised President Momis, lawyer Hubert Kikira, Dr Naomi Tulaha and Uniting Church bishop, Rev Tim Arthur.