Oswald Tolopa re-appointed as Acting Secretary

Press Conference with Re-Appointed Acting Secretary Oswald Tolopa and Senior Management of the Lands and Physical Planning Department.

This announcement brings with it an atmosphere of great relief for the Department after a frustrating four(4) months of instability within.

The reinstatement of former Secretary Luther Sipison four (4) months ago had created a lot of uncertainty among officers at both senior management and junior level. This uncertainty and instability came about as a result of human resource decisions made by the Secretary immediately upon his return to office.
After so much progress under the leadership of a/Secretary Tolopa, the new Senior Management structure, and the mechanisms that we had gone about establishing, the courts decision for reinstatement took us a few steps back, in terms of the progress that we had made.
Furthermore, the decision by Sipison to take further court action against myself as Lands Minister and the Public Service Minister posted grave concerns with regards to his agenda.
NEC has acted upon more than 12 counts of allegations of mismanagement against the former Secretary, and issued a suspension now Gazetted and formalised by the Governor General. 
The allegations are part of ongoing investigations by the Ombudsman Commission and Department of Personnel Management prior to my appointment to the Lands Ministry, and this NEC decision will allow him to properly answer to these allegations.
These allegations will be further scrutinised and investigated by an independent enquiry before a final decision is handed down.
Nevertheless, this turnaround of events, and the course of action taken by NEC now allows for continuation of what we started at the Department with the reappointment of a/secretary Tolopa.
The Lands Department is not about any individual, but our agenda, and that is procedure and process in the management of our peoples land countrywide.
There is greater need now, more than ever, for us at the leadership level to work together, to lead and provide a conducive environment for work and for the people we serve.

I congratulate a/Secretary Tolopa and his Executive team for remaining patient throughout this disgraceful period, and I look forward to getting on with the job.