By EDDIE OSIFELO
MEMBERS of Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) Board will meet with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to discuss their fate tomorrow.
The Prime Minister had omitted SIBC as a State-Owned Enterprise recently, leaving the Board’s status in doubt.
Sogavare could not meet with the Board after he attended the 51st Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders meeting in Suva, Fiji from July 11-14, 2022.
The appointment of the SIBC Board will now done in accordance with the Broadcasting Act Cap 122.
Acting chairman of SIBC Board, Dr William Parairato said the members are not sure if they will be in the Board.
Parairato said under the Broadcasting Act Cap 122, the Prime Minister will appoint new Board members.
“This is one of the issues we will discuss with the Prime Minister to clear our doubts,” he said.
Under the SOE Regulation 2010, the SIBC Board has a term of 3 years or less term.
However, under the Broadcasting Act CAP 122, Corporation Board will have a term not exceeding 5 years.
Further to that, under SOE, SIBC benefited from Community Service Obligation, where the Accountable Minister may submit a proposal which describe the nature and scope of the CSO.
SIBC must meet within 10 working days, give to the Accountable Minister an estimate of the cost of SOE of providing CSO obligation.
Under the Broadcasting Act CAP 122, SIBC will now borrow money by issue of debentures or debenture stock.
A debenture is a type of debt instrument that is not backed by any collateral and usually has a term greater than 10 years.
The debenture is to assist the Corporation for:
- the provision of working capital;
- for performing the functions of the Corporation under this Act;
- the acquisition of undertakings;
- any other expenditure properly chargeable to capital account; and
- any other purpose whatsoever which the Minister of Finance after consultation with the Cabinet may by notice specify.
The Corporation may borrow by way of temporary loan or overdraft such sums of money as it deems fit not exceeding an amount approved by the Minister of Finance.
The revenue receive from broadcasting of advertisements and message shall not be liable to income tax.
The Corporation to receive annual subsidy from the Government.
Further to that, a Prime Minister has a power to prohibit SIBC to broadcast or televise any matter, or matter of any class or character unless it is based on national interest.
Or the Prime Minister may request the Corporation to refrain from broadcasting any such matter.
This is stipulate under Section 24 of the Broadcasting Act Cap 122.
The Government omitted SIBC as a SOE in what it claimed not making any profits as required under the SOE Act 2007.