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Only Parliament can decide whether to ban PSs in Chamber

THE intention to ban permanent secretaries (PSs) and officials from Parliament Chambers is up to Parliament to decide on.

The issue was initially raised by the Leader of the Independent Group, Hon Dr Derek Sikua, saying Parliament is an Honorable House and PSs should not be in the chambers assisting the ministers and should be in another room assisting ministers through technological advancement means instead.

Sikua added at the time when contributing to the sine die motion moved by Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare last week.

Deputy Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Maelanga, when delivering his statement contributing on the motion, said ministers should not be deprived of technical advisory support assistance from PSs or ministerial officials.

He added that this would allow ministers to answer on a satisfactory level questions raised by other Members of Parliament.

Prime Minister Sogavare then gave an example when he was subject of a motion to have him banned from entering the Parliament.

This was in the then Kalala House, the now High Court vicinity.

“I was subject of a motion moved by Parliament, moved by Kalala House when I was Commissioner of Inland Revenue

“My Minister then was the former Member for Savo Russells, he was the Minister of Housing and Government Services under which Income Taxation and Customs came under.

“I was with him trying to push the Goods Tax in and assisting him to answer questions on the Good Tax and that did not go down well with the Opposition that time.

“It was a Friday and the meeting was going continue the next week and officials were going to go in and assist the Minister and the motion was moved to bar the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to enter Parliament,” said Prime Minister Sogavare.

He then added that at the time the then Prime Minister was Late Solomon Mamaloni and the motion was shot down and rejected by Parliament.

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