(14 April, 2016)

“Decision to change the Acting Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Training and Education”

Because of questions received regarding the decision by the Hon Prime Minister and Minister for Education and Training to change the appointment of the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Education and Training from Mr. Claude Tupou to Mr. Ponapate Taunisila starting on 30 March 2016, this is provided to clarify this decision for the public.

In accordance with the Public Service Act, Mr. Claude Tupou made an appeal to the Public Service Tribunal regarding the result of his application to the position of CEO for Education and Training.  Mr. Tupou at this time was Acting CEO for Education and Training.  The appeal was heard by the Tribunal who decided that Claude should be appointed to the position.   The Hon Prime Minister endorsed the Tribunal’s decision.

The Office of the Public Service Commission then continued with the appointment process.  However, Mr. Tupou expressed that he was not satisfied with some of the clauses of his proposed contract of employment.  These issues are still discussed and no consensus has been reached.

After due consideration by the Hon Prime Minister and the Public Service Commission it was considered that the best option is to change the Acting appointment, that is Mr. Tupou is to revert to his substantive position of Deputy CEO and for Deputy CEO Mr. Ponapate Taunisila to be appointed Acting CEO.  This will give Mr. Tupou the independence to pursue and settle his dissatisfaction and at the same the Ministry’s operation to continue under the leadership of Mr. Taunisila.  This decision has been discussed with all parties concerned.

The Public Service Commission is continuing with the appointment process to the position of CEO for Education and Training.


Issued by the: The Prime Minister’s Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644     Fax:  (676) 23 888; For media enquiries- Email:

Translate »