A former Member of Parliament has been sworn in as the Interim Ombudsman effective from February 18 until June 30, 2023.
This morning ‘Alisi Numia Taumoepeau KC took her oath of office in the Legislative Assembly to temporarily perform the duties of the Ombudsman.
Her appointment came when the Ombudsman ‘Aisea Havea Taumoepeau SC submitted his resignation to the Office of the Speaker last Friday (February) to say he will resign from office when he reaches the age of 72 on February 18. According to section 5 subsection 3 of the Ombudsman Act, the retiring age is 72.
In section 3 of the Ombudsman Act, it provides that in the event of a vacant post, the Speaker with consent of the Legislative Assembly appoints a person to temporarily perform the duties of the Ombudsman.
A thank you letter from the ‘Aisea Taumoepeau was also read to acknowledge and thank the Speaker and the Legislative Assembly for trusting him and all the support provided to ensure the independence of the Ombudsman Office. While at the same time promoting good governance and the rule of law to ensure effective public service delivery for Tonga and its people.
An endorsement letter from the Lord Speaker was also read and discussed in Parliament. The interim appointment was discussed before it was approved by the House 20-1 vote.
‘Alisi Taumoepeau is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ombudsman Office.
She was the first woman Solicitor General and Attorney General of Tonga, first woman Cabinet Minister and former Justice Minister.
In August 2020, she was appointed as the King’s Counsel. Mrs. Taumoepeau has 40 years of service in the legal profession among other milestones.
She holds a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law (LLM) with Honors from Wellington’s Victoria University, and a Barrister and Solicitor of New Zealand.
The Ombudsman post will soon be advertised.