Support for sacked Clerk of Parliament Tangata Vainerere continues to gain momentum.
Vainerere was dismissed last week after the cost of building a new debating chamber blew out by $352,000 – more than doubling the initial budget.
Government, through the Public Service Commission, this week advertised the job to look for a replacement.
Norman George, a former Speaker of Parliament who is Vainerere’s lawyer, has challenged Vainerere’s dismissal, saying “something is not right”.
“My understanding is that Clerk Vainerere did an outstanding job rescuing a poorly planned construction work on the Parliament,” George said.
“Where was the Speaker all this time? Did the Speaker monitor the work? Why was there no intervention?”
Rattle earlier this week confirmed that she had “terminated” the Clerk’s contract.
“It is unfortunate that businesses have suffered the delay in the payment for the outstanding services and goods rendered. MFEM has confirmed that all outstanding invoices have been paid,” Rattle said.
Tangata Vainerere, who had been in the role for 14 months, took full responsibility for the overspend.
However he did note that others were involved in the decision-making. “I’m not blaming anyone else for what happened, even though the total budget was not my decision on my own.”
Vainerere is looking at legal options to possibly challenge his termination.
The Public Service Commission said the Clerk is the Chief Executive, and the first principal adviser to the Speaker and Members of Parliament on parliamentary law and procedure.
The Clerk is responsible for providing specialist technical advice and professional services to support the Speaker and MPs carry out their responsibilities to the House, and its committees.
The Clerk ensures that House proceedings are properly documented, and records maintained.
Application for the Clerk’s role close on April 10, 2020.