The Board and Management of PNG Power have noted with grave concerns the comments and actions of the Minister for Communications and Energy Hon. Rainbo Paita in the media recently.
PNG Power is a majority State Owned Enterprise operating under the oversight of its Board and reporting to the Trustee Shareholder Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH) as stipulated under the KCH Act. The Minister does not have any powers to direct or interfere with the affairs of PNG Power unless such directions or decision are approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) and validated or effectuated by relevant Gazettal Notice for implementation.
PNG Power is managed by its Annual Operating Plan coupled with its Strategic Corporate Plan. We have a clear Reform Agenda that is being implemented to address, amongst other matters, the legacy issues that have been inherited over many years, and plot an ideal way forward for this iconic national company in delivering electricity service to its legitimate customers.
PNG Power Board Chairman Peter Nupiri shared these sentiments, in response to Minister Paita’s recent actions, in support of the PNG Energy Workers Association (EWA).
“We are concerned about the Minister’s actions in having direct contact with certain Union Executives without our Board and Management’s knowledge thus undermining the grievance management processes that are in place,” Mr Nupiri said.
“There was no courtesy shown in advising the Board or Management of his recent visits to the PNG Power premises at the Boroko operations centre on Friday and to PNG Power Head Office on Monday, and this is in breach of protocols and processes for such visits, and more particularly when addressing internal operational and industrial issues,” he added.
Mr Nupiri explained that the Board had noted the 48-hour ultimatum given by Minister Paita to resolve issues, presented in a petition by PNGEWA members. To date the Board and Management have neither formally received the ultimatum nor the Unions petition.
“We would appreciate the good Minister’s support in our efforts to reform PNG Power instead of the direct interference with the management and its affairs,” he further stated.
Mr. Nupiri pointed out that a copy of PNG Power’s Strategic Plan had already been submitted to Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. James Marape and Minister for Public Enterprises & State Investments Hon. Sasindran Muthuvel.
“The good Minister has been approached to be briefed appropriately on PNG Power matters since his appointment to oversee PNG Power by the Government but he has been avoiding any meeting or communications with the Board and the Management,” he stressed.
Further, the Board condemns the actions of certain Union Executives who are taking internal company issues to Minister Paita directly in breach of the existing grievance management processes. Most of the issues raised are being addressed by management.
Mr. Nupiri stated that it appears that Minister Paita has been misadvised on the issues raised by the Union and it is prudent that as a State Minister, he should allow the Board and Management to appropriately brief him on the issues so he could make an informed decision on these issues as and when required through the established processes.
“A major state company such as PNG Power cannot be managed in the atmosphere of hostility and animosity but in the spirit of consultation and good faith by all relevant stakeholders irrespective of differing views on any matter” said Mr. Nupiri.
The Board and Management of PNG Power is greatly disappointed in the irrational and unprofessional manner in which Minister Paita and certain Union Executives have conducted themselves in the last few days in the public domain.
Minister Paita is been invited to meet with the PNG Power Board and Management to be appropriately informed of the reform agenda and the strategic and governance matters that are being driven by the Board.