Tomo rebuts Danaya claim
The National [ January 19, 2007 | Read Article Online ]
By JOSHUA ARLO
FORMER acting attorney-general Fred Tomo has refuted accusations from Public Accounts Committee deputy chairman Dr Bob Danaya that he (Tomo) tried to stall the panel from carrying out its probe on the World War II B17E Flying Fortress bomber Swamp Ghost and certain Lands Department’s cases.
Dr Danaya had earlier accused Mr Tomo of wilfully disobeying PAC directives for him to appear before panel meetings concerning the Swamp Ghost controversy.
Furthermore, Dr Danaya had threatened to refer him to the Ombudsman Commission and to the Minister of Justice.
However, Mr Tomo stressed there was no deliberate action on his part to frustrate the work of the panel.
Whether letters of the committee were attended to or not, it had to be assessed on the basis of the contents of such letters, he said.
The PAC had legal counsel and must be serviced by the Parliamentary Services and not by the executive arms of Government, he said.
On the PAC directive for him to provide legal advice, Mr Tomo said that he prepared a detailed legal advice on the Swamp Ghost and sent it to the former chairman
of the PAC, John Hickey, who is now the Minister for Finance.
On the land deal, it was a matter for the Department of Lands to seek advice and liaise with relevant section of Justice Department.
Mr Tomo stressed that there were procedures to be followed when actions are to be taken in relation to individuals in the organisation and directions for investigation.
However, the PAC did not automatically trigger action unless manpower, resources and procedural requirements are in place, he said.