Was Boyers receiving fees as a board member?

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By Alfred Sasako

QUESTIONS are being asked whether the President of Kadere Party, Peter Boyers, was receiving fees or allowances when he was a director of a number of Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) investment companies.

Mr Boyers told a local newspaper last week that he had “relinquished his memberships in all Solomon Islands National Provident Fund’s (SINPF’s) investment companies”.

He reportedly told the newspaper that these entities include South Pacific Oil Ltd where he was chairman, Board director of Soltuna and Sasape International Slipway Ltd as well as a member of the Investment and Credit Committee.

A former finance minister, Boyers is the chairman of the SINPF Board. He is also on a government paid consultancy post as advisor to the DCC government on traditional governance.

It has now come to light that any fees or salaries paid to him may be illegal under the regulations of the State-Owned Enterprise Act 2007.

Regulation 12(3) states: “Where a person who is a Member of Parliament, public servant or who holds any other constitutional or government position is appointed as director, that person shall not receive remuneration or other benefits from the State Owned Enterprise for services as a director.”

Regulation 12(2) is equally damning. It says:

“No person who is a Member of Parliament, public servant, or who holds any other constitutional or government position may be appointed as a director of a State Owned Enterprise unless the board certifies to the Accountable Ministers that –

(a) the appointment is in the national interest;

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and

(b) the person has particular qualifications or business experience which the State Owned Enterprise requires on its board and such qualifications or business experience cannot be found in Solomon Islands.”

Lawyers spoken to yesterday said a political appointment such as the one Peter Boyers has since 2017 as the traditional governance advisor disqualifies him to receive any fees etc as a board member of relevant SOE.

“If Boyers has been receiving such fees etc the State should recover such fees from him, if not voluntarily, then through the coercive powers of the courts. The AG has a legal duty to ensure compliance with the law,” one lawyer told Island Sun yesterday.

If you read Reg 12 (2) you will also notice that PB is disqualified to be a board member unless the relevant ministers certify that his qualifications are needed and no other person is qualified except him. I think PB qualification are ordinary and not above others. Based on reg 12(2) he should not have been appointed in the first place. He does not meet the exemption under reg 12(2) in short.

(2) No person who is a Member of Parliament, public servant, or who holds any other constitutional or government position may be appointed as a director of a State Owned Enterprise unless the board certifies to the Accountable Ministers that –

 

(a) the appointment is in the national interest;

and

(b) the person has particular qualifications or business experience which the State Owned Enterprise requires on its board and such qualifications or business experience cannot be found in Solomon Islands.

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