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Public Service of Excellence

Honesty, Impartiality, Service Oriented, Transparency, Accountability, Respect, Efficiency and Effectiveness


50th AnniversaryPublic Service Commissioner

The Public Service Commissioner is appointed by the Queen’s Representative on the advice of the Prime Minister in accordance with Article 73 of the Cook Islands Constitution 1964. The Public Service Act 2009 (“Act”) and Cook Islands Constitution 1964 provides the legal framework for the Public Service Commissioner to promote and implement policies and practices that support good governance across the public sector. Section 6 of the Act specifies the functions of the Commissioner.

Statutory Functions of the Commissioner

• Provide advice to Ministers on matters relating to the Public Service
• Intermediary between Ministers of the Crown and Heads of Departments
• Review and make changes to the machinery of government
• Instigate inquiries relating to breaches of the Act and public administration
• Investigate unresolved disputes between Heads of Departments and public service employees 
• Appoint Heads of Departments and negotiate conditions of employment
• Issue written instructions to Heads of Departments on the implementation of government policies
• Review the performance of Heads of Public Service Departments
• Ensure Heads of Departments are not subject to unlawful or improper pressure from Ministers or Members of Parliament
• Develop and promote personnel policies and standards for the Public Service
• Promote and ensure compliance with the Public Service Code of Conduct and values
• Provide advice on the training and career development of Public Servants
• Determine salary ranges for Public Service roles using the remuneration system approved by Cabinet

Scope of Authority

The Public Service Commissioner’s authority extends to 13 heads of public service departments and employees of these departments. All public servants must comply with the Act. Crown entities are defined as State Services under the Public Service Act and are required to comply with the remuneration framework of government, good employer principles, public service values and the public service code of conduct.
Public Service Values

• Honesty – acting honestly, being truthful and abiding by the laws of the Cook Islands
• Impartiality – providing impartial advice, acting without fear or favour and making decisions on their merits
• Service – serving the people well through faithful service to the Government of the Cook Islands
• Respect – treating the people, the Government of the Cook Islands and colleagues with courtesy and respect
• Transparency – taking actions and making decisions in an open way
• Accountability – being able to explain the reason for actions taken and taking responsibility for those actions
• Efficiency and effectiveness – achieving good results for the Cook Islands in an economical way.

DepartmentsHeads of Department
Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)Mr Matairangi Purea
Ministry of Cultural Development (MoCD)Mr Anthony Turua
Ministry of Education (MoE)Ms Gail Townsend
Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM)Mr Garth Henderson
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI)Ms Tepearu Herrmann
Ministry of Health (MoH)Mrs Elizabeth Iro
Ministry of Infrastructure Cook Islands (ICI)Mr Ngametua College Pokino
Ministry of Internal Affairs (MoIA)Ms Bredina Drollet
Ministry of Justice (MoJ)Mr Tingika Elikana
Ministry of Marine Resource (MMR)Mr Ben Ponia
Ministry of Transport (MoT)Mr Ned Howard
Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)Mrs Elizabeth Wright-Koteka
Office of the Public Service Commissioner (OPSC)Mrs Daphne Ringi

Office of the Public Service Commissioner

The Office of the Public Service Commissioner’s (OPSC’s) legislated function is to assist the Commissioner with the general administration of the Public Service Act, under the leadership of the Chief Executive Officer.






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