Constitution to be amended to set Ombudsman eligibility standard

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BY CAROL-ANNE SULEGA

THE Bills and Legislation Committee (BLC) has suggested that the Government consider amending the Constitution to set qualification, disqualification and eligibility standards for the appointment of an Ombudsman.

This is according to recommendations of the Committee’s report on the passed legislation.

The Office of the Ombudsman in Solomon Islands is established by the Constitution and is a public office governed by the Ombudsman (Further Provision) Act 1980.

The Ombudsman is appointed by the Governor General (GG) upon the advice of the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, the Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission and the Speaker of Parliament.

The report states that the Committee acknowledges that the Constitution does not set minimum requirements as qualifications for appointment as Ombudsman.

However, the Committee is of the view that the Constitution be amended to allow for such qualifications to be set either in the Constitution itself or in an Act (law) of Parliament.

Any such qualifications are to state the exclusion of persons with prior convictions.

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