A Health Extension Officer (HEO) from Arawa in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) finally received her service allowances after four years, which was made possible after the Ombudsman Commission’s intervention.
On 13 July 2022, the Ombudsman Commission registered a complaint from a Health Extension Officer who is employed at Arawa District Hospital. She alleged that the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) had unlawfully withheld her service allowances for four years without lawful justification.
The Ombudsman Commission commenced administrative investigations using its powers under the Organic Law on the Ombudsman Commission and in fulfilling its purpose under Section 218 of the Constitution.
The Commission’s investigations revealed that the Complainant commenced employment as a nurse in 2008 and signed an agreement with the Department of Personnel Management as a Health Extension Officer on 7 November 2011 to be effective as of 1 January 2011.
In August 2019, when she joined the ABG Administration, she followed up with the ABG Administration and the Department of Finance.
The investigation further revealed that the complainant was rightfully entitled to the allowances she was denied for many years.
While the investigation was still ongoing and pending completion, the Complainant and her husband out of frustration and without understanding the Ombudsman Commission’s investigation processes, went out and made derogatory comments against the Commission for further delaying the matter.
Despite the negative comments by the Complainant and her husband, the Commission continued its investigation until it received a positive outcome where the total outstanding allowance of K67,674.52 was fully paid to the Complaint on 26 July 2023.
The Complainant confirmed that she received the outstanding allowances and thanked the Ombudsman Commission for investigating her complaint and for assisting her in receiving what was lawfully owed to her.