The Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet bade farewell to a long-serving Public servant, Mr Joe Poraiwai last Friday after his completion of his second term in office as Ombudsman. The ombudsman’s office administratively comes under the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Mr Poraiwai who hails from the Are Are region of Malaita Province served the Government for a total of 41 years. Mr Poraiwai started his Public Service career in 1976 as a junior admin/accounts officer. He served in various other Government offices until 1986 when he was posted to the Ombudsman’s Office. Mr Poraiwai’s dedication saw him rise through various positions within that constitutional office until he reached the ultimate position of Ombudsman. In 2014 Mr Poraiwai received a Member of the British Empire Award in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the Public Service.
In her tribute to Mr Poraiwai on behalf of the staff of the Ombudsman’s Office, Mrs Judith Waleanisia said the office has seen great improvements in terms of infrastructure, staff performance recognition and maintaining relationships with local and international bodies during Mr Poraiwai’s two terms in office as Ombudsman.
“Mr Poraiwai’s time in office has seen the Ombudsman’s Office complex completed and also the much needed increase in office staffing and units to assist him in fully carrying out the responsibilities that have been vested upon him.
“We appreciate his fatherhood role in leading us over the years with his vast experience and background of public administration.”
The Chief Administrative Officer in the Ombudsman’s Office also took the opportunity to acknowledge the strong support Mr Poraiwai’s wife Abigail and children rendered to Mr Poraiwai during his two terms as Ombudsman and also the rest of his Public Service career.
Thanking Mr Poraiwai for his 41 years of service in the Public Service, Secretary to Cabinet, Mr James Remobatu said, “Joe has been a good servant of the Solomon Islands Government.
“He started working in the Ombudsman’s Office for a long time and undoubtedly he has a lot of experience working in that office and as we know when the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands came in, he was appointed as Ombudsman and he has been actively leading the reforms that happened in that constitutional office.
“We can now see a lot of differences because of the development of that office and the important role it plays in the governance of this nation. I have seen that office grow from strength to strength in addressing issues of maladministration and as a watchdog of the Public Service. So on behalf of the Government, I would like to thank Mr Poraiwai for his worthwhile contributions to our nation in the various positions he held before and as Ombudsman.”
In his farewell remarks, Mr Poraiwai reflected on his journey as a Junior Admin/Accounts Officer to becoming the Ombudsman.
He said the journey was eventful and challenging, but through dedication and toil, he worked his way up the ladder.
Mr Poraiwai acknowledged the reforms the present Democratic Coalition for Change Government has introduced since taking office especially those dealing with corruption, adding that the success of any government reforms requires political will.