With reference to the article published on Wednesday 25th July, 2018 and public speculation concerning Government’s role or interest in the international travel of Former Presidents, this Office wishes to clarify the following:-
Established practice provides that former Presidents should notify the Office of the President when they intend to travel abroad. This practice has been put in place to ensure that adequate courtesies, including protocol arrangements, are extended to facilitate the movements of our former Presidents when they are outside of the country, which the law entitles them to a maximum of four state funded international trips per annum.
It should be noted, however, that it has never been the responsibility or desire of the Office of the President to regulate or otherwise interfere in the external movements of Former Presidents who are otherwise free to make their own arrangements when on private trips as they are private citizens. The role of the Office of the President is to ensure adequate security is provided as and when notified of such trips on time.
Carter N. Morupisi
PERMANENT SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY TO CABINET