How many others are doing it?

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The official website of Solomon Islands Postal Corporation (SIPC) – the nation’s smallest State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) – says it all. It shows its board may have outlived its legal mandate.

One wonders how many other SOEs are in a similar position, given that roles and responsibilities of each SOE’s Board are clearly defined in terms of the prescription in their respective legislation.

In the case of SIPC, its website shows the position each director holds and when it expires. For example:

Director                                  Position          Expiry

Robert Bokelema                  Chairman      10/10/2015

Benjiman Oatasia                Member         16/09/2016

Christian Alan Siale              Member         10/10/2012

Patrick Taloboe                    Member         10/10/2014

George Selwyn Kiriau          Member         16/09/2015

Mr. Gideon Zoleveke          Member         16/09/2016

 

What is not clear is whether these directors have had their terms of office renewed. If not, who is responsible for making sure information on its website remains current at all times.

This certainly is not the case of SIPC in terms of its board of directors. One member for example has had his membership expired in October of 2012 – that’s six years ago.

Is it possible that decisions made by a board whose terms have expired border on illegality? If so, who is responsible? Is it the Chief Executive Officer? Is it the Chairman? Or is it the Minister or Ministers responsible for the SOE?

Perhaps this is a fine line. But someone somewhere should be held to account for ignoring the requirement(s) of the law. Ignoring the law does not mean the law will go away.

No wonder our nation is going through so much chaos today. A couldn’t careless culture seems to be taking hold and spreading. Unless some affirmative action is taken, the worst is yet to come.

As everyone knows, Solomon Islands Postal Corporation (SIPC) is a state-owned enterprise established by an Act of Parliament in 1996. Its mandate is to provide postal services within Solomon Islands and to countries abroad.

As an SOE, it is subject to the State-owned Enterprises Act 2007 and State-owned Enterprises Regulations 2010, according to its website.

SIPC is governed by a board of directors that is responsible to the Accountable Ministers – the Minister of Finance and Treasury as well as the Minister for Communications and Aviation.

Its Vision is to be “a trusted leading provider of world-class postal services and other related innovative services and to be recognized as the best model of SOE in the South Pacific,”

Its Mission is to “provide high quality and modern postal services within Solomon Islands and other countries, carry on any business or activity relating to postal services to bridge customers, provide telecommunications, value added services including electronic mail, electronic data interchange, internet services, electronic funds transfer services, financial services, e-commerce services and any other appropriate or related services for customers’ better life”, according to its website.

SIPC’s case raises more questions than it answers.

For example, how many of its existing directors have had their positions renewed. All of them? Just some, how many?

Is it possible decisions made in the course of their being directors had fallen short of the legal requirement? If so, how is this going to be addressed?

There are far too many questions.

One can only hope that SIPC’s situation provides a timely wake-up call to clean up other SOEs. In doing so, it is not a tall order that a new breed of directors be appointed to assume the reins instead of using worn out records to play the games over and over again.

They are not the only people who have the brains to change this country. Many have failed this country more than they are prepared to admit.

It’s time they are shown the door. It’s time for change.

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