What is the Ombudsman doing now? This is the question that Daily Post attempted to answer over two months ago yet the Ombudsman’s office and his staff have remained silent.
After reaching out to Ombudsman Hamilson Bulu in June with eight questions, he has avoided interviews, phone calls and now his cell-phone and his secretary’s, isn’t working.
According to his secretary Christine Kapalu, the Ombudsman has been in a series of meetings, these meetings have been happening since June to July and there has been no time for him to respond to eight questions.
When the newspaper strongly requested an audience with Mr Bulu, the Leadership Code Investigations Officer of the Ombudsman’s office responded: “We encourage all journalists to set an appointment with the Ombudsman to ask questions which I believe you all media personals should be aware of the requirement of giving our information which is covered by provisions of the Official Secrets Act.
“We are not in the position to give you any information but only the Ombudsman- therefore I suggest you set an appointment for that purpose with our front office personal.”
When Daily Post requested information on the purpose of the all the “important meetings” his staff continued to remain silent and found the questions humorous.
At this moment, the public is still unaware of what the Ombudsman is doing.
We don’t know how many complaints it has received to investigate by the public post-border-closure and how many of these reports have been published?
For an independent body that is tasked with investigating complaints and finding resolutions, the level of transparency and accountability used in these actions is unfortunately not reciprocated when the Ombudsman is the one who needs to answer q uestions.
Daily Post will continue to knock on the door of the Ombudsman for answers.
Here are a question’s that Mr Bulu has decided not to answer:
What is the update with the complaints raised by Leader of Opposition Ralph Regenvanu?
When was the last time the Office of the Ombudsman published a report from a public complaint?
What happened to the 88 leaders who did not disclose their annual returns? What comes next?