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Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration

Tonga

 flag tongamap_of_tonga

The Kingdom of Tonga is a Polynesian country located twenty degrees south of the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The islands lie to the south of Samoa, and southeast of Fiji. The Tongan archipelago is comprised of 176 islands, 36 of which are inhabited. The islands are divided into three main groups – Tongatapu, Ha’apai and Vav’u. The capital Nuku’alofa is located on the main island of Tongatapu. Tonga’s population is approximately 103,000.

The legal system of the Kingdom of Tonga is based on English common law and derives from the Constitution of 1875 (revised 1967 and since amended) and the statutes of the legislative assembly approved by the King. The key laws defining the powers of public officers and public financial management are the Government Act and the Public Finance Administration Act.
The public service is currently administered through 18 government ministries. The majority of governmental functions and services are centralised and provided by the national government. There is no sub national government in Tonga; however there are district and town officials’ representatives who act as an interface to the central government, whilst the two outer island governors are responsible for government administration through the relevant central government agencies. The public service makes up approximately 18 per cent of the employed formal labour force. The Tongan police and defence forces are not classified as public servants and use their own pay roll system with different classifications. Public service management, roles and responsibilities are articulated in the Public Service Act 2010 and regulations. The Public Service Commission oversees the human resource management functions and assists the ministries and departments by participating in recruitment processes, reviewing of ministerial proposals for promotions, new appointments, demotions and dismissals.

 

© Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration