SHARED SOE RESPONSIBILITY PROBLEMATIC: SIPA INQUIRY

Former Chairperson of the Solomon Islands Ports Authority Board, Nollen Leni. Photo credit: SIBC.

Former Chairperson of the Solomon Islands Ports Authority Board, Nollen Leni. Photo credit: SIBC.

The Commission of Inquiry into the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) believes, two Ministers ‘sharing’ responsibility under the SIPA Act and SOEs Act is problematic.

It has identified, the system of dual control introduced by the SOEs Act has not functioned effectively.

Part four of the report proposes a review by senior officials of the application and workings of the State Owned Enterprises Act.

It says, such a review would re-examine, among other aspects, the advisability of having two Cabinet Ministers with joint responsibility for overseeing an SOE, when in the Solomon Islands environment both may have different interests, motives and political and personal connections shaping their views and actions.

The Commission suggested Legislative and administrative arrangements for the governance and management of SOEs, with very different physical and operational characteristics and serving politically distinct populations, require a breadth of experience that will not be readily found among outside consultants or advisers.

Meanwhile, it adds, competent, interested and engaged Boards of Directors are essential to the successful operation of SOEs.

SIPA’s recent experience has been dismal, partly because of failure by Government Ministries to facilitate and support the appointment of suitable persons, and partly because of deliberate disrespect and disregard of the governance system by the now departed CEO.

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