February 17, 2020
KCH restoring proper systems and processes in SOEs
The acting Managing Director of Kumul Consolidated Holdings Ltd, Mr Parkop Kurua, today reiterated the company’s determination to restore lawful systems and processes and appropriate levels of accountability and transparency to the State Owned Enterprise system.
“KCH wants to reassure the public that it will act swiftly and effectively on allegations against itself or the SOEs it is responsible for,” he said. “We have zero tolerance for any failure of due process or accountability.
“SOEs exist to provide efficient, cost-effective and reliable services to all Papua New Guineans. We cannot do that if poor corporate practices are eating away at our capacity to deliver services. They must be eradicated.”
Mr Kurua was responding to recent complaints against Kumul Telikom Holdings and Water PNG/Eda Ranu. He said the complaints are being investigated by KCH, and the boards of the relevant SOEs have been notified and asked to take appropriate action.
In the case of Telikom, KCH as the shareholder has instituted interim arrangements aimed at restoring financial stability and to resolve any misunderstanding between the board and management.
The position of group CEO should remain vacant until a permanent appointment is made. Meanwhile the heads of Telikom, PNG DataCo and Bmobile will report directly to the Kumul Telikom Holdings board. Attempts to create alternative physical or virtual operating structures outside of the legal structures approved by KCH will cease.
In the case of Water PNG, a temporary Officer in Charge, Mr Susanta Chanda, has been appointed by KCH following the expiry in December of the appointments of all directors and the managing director. Mr Chanda, Chief Financial Officer of Water PNG, will report to KCH pending permanent appointments.
KCH has also instituted an independent external examination of recent allegations concerning financial transactions at Water PNG/EdaRanu. That review is currently under way.
Mr Kurua said it was important that these issues are dealt with as quickly and transparently as possible to restore the public reputation of the SOE system and resume the delivery of affordable and reliable services to the population.
He encouraged SOE staff and members of the public to contact KCH if they have any concerns about SOE activities. Whistleblowers will be guaranteed anonymity.
Minister for State Enterprises, Hon. William Duma, today announced the signing of an MOU between Kumul Consolidated Holdings and the East New Britain Provincial Government that paves the way for a solar power project that will ensure greater electricity reliability in that province.
“KCH is mandated to pay annual dividends from the profit earned by assets and investments held in the GBT, ” said Minister Duma.
Kumul Consolidated Holdings, in collaboration with PNG Power Ltd (PPL), is seeking Expressions of Interest (EoI) from owners of suitable alienated land to enter into a lease agreement with a future independent power producer under which the land will be used for the installation and operation of a solar farm.