By: L.N. Reklai

September 29, 2016 (Koror) Vice President Antonio Bells returned the employment contract of the new assistant attorney general to the Director of Bureau of Public Civil Service System without signing the contract.

In a letter to Director Umerang Imetengel, VP Bells challenged the designation by the President through his Chief of Staff Eldebechel authorizing Attorney General as the “appropriate management official” for all employment and personnel decisions in the AG’s Office. {restrict]

Vice President Bells refused to the sign the contract, stating that it was against the “clear rule of law and he wish to stay clear from it.”

The issue stemmed from an earlier hiring of an administrative officer to the Office of Attorney General.  Vice President Bells then refused to approve the hiring, stating that he had reservations about the personnel.  The Office of the Attorney General falls under the Ministry of Justice.

A letter from President’s Chief of Staff Eldebechel to Vice President Bells authorized “each manager of heads of departments “to make hiring decisions on their own and to be held accountable for their hiring decisions”.  Based on this authorization, Attorney General hired the personnel despite objections from Vice President Bells.

Vice President Bells in his response to President Remengesau accused the President of micro managing.

Standard government employment contract requires signatures of the head of the department hiring, Director of Public Civil Service System, Director of Budget, Minister of the Ministry the department falls under and the President of the Republic. [/restrict]