Friday, 19 September 2008 11:16 AM

Permanent Secretary May Face Sacking Over Porn Incident

The Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua is expected to order the sacking of Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Government Fred Ganate over the pornography incident during the Premier's conference in Lata.

The Special Secretary to the Prime Minister (SSPM), John Keniapisia, has told the National Express that immediately after the incident at Lata the Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua decided to suspend Ganate on half pay with immediate effect pending an investigation.

The investigation process started as soon as the Prime Minister's delegation arrived back in Honiara on Tuesday this week. The investigation is led by SSPM John Keniapisia.

Although the SSPM has declined to comment on the investigation until it reports to the Prime Minister, the National Express has been reliably informed that the investigation team has removed a computer used at home by the Permanent Secretary along with DVDs and flash drives.

Despite Keniapisia's denial the Express has also learnt that after studying the materials confiscated, the investigation team has concluded that the obscene materials that had angered the country's leaders had definitely come from the possession of the Permanent Secretary.

The SSPM however told the Express that because the Premiers were so upset about what had happened and made a presentation to the Prime Minister at Lata, the Prime Minister summoned Ganate for explanations; with the intention of immediate sacking.

"I guess what saved him was the fact that he denied that he is the owner of the laptop used in the ill fated presentation and that he threw the flash drive containing the materials into the sea claiming that he did that because it had brought disgrace to the conference," Keniapisia said.

The SSPM said that the incident happened immediately after the official opening of the conference by the Prime Minister and the presentation was for Mr Ganate to brief the Premiers about the progress which the Government has made on last year's Premiers' recommendations.

At the time of the incident Ganate was facing the Premiers with his back to the screen and his staff were operating the laptop but when they opened a file in flash drive which Ganage had given them and which supposed to contain the Ministry's official report to the conference, it screened pornographic materials instead.

The Permanent Secretary who was writing on a table and facing the Premiers and with his back to the screen was not aware of what was happening and he only realised that something was amiss when he saw the Premiers stood up and walked out of the meeting hall.

Keniapisia said that the Premiers were so upset about the incident that they sent the host and Temotu Premier, Johnson Levela to demand the immediate suspension of Ganate as Chairman of the conference.

After discussions with Premier Levela, it was agreed that Levela would take over as Chairman of the conference assisted by the Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister and that Ganate would be sidelined and would only provide advice to the officials if and when required.


National Express

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