Public Enterprise Minister: all state owned entities should work smarter in 2019

By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby

It’s the start of another year of operations for State Owned Enterprises, with the SOE’s challenged yet again to work smarter.

Public Enterprise & State Investment Minister William Duma met with heads of all SOE’s in Port Moresby today, Monday, January 22, and called for improvements across the board over the next twelve months. 

All SOE’s have been instructed to build on progress made in 2018, and improve services offered to the people of PNG – this is especially so for industries where SOE’s have a monopoly.

“Our people expect the best from our SOE’s. Most of whom continue to enjoy monopoly position and they’re very serious where they operate as businesses,” State Investment Minister William Duma said.

“So our people, first of all, expect efficient, effective service from our SOE’s in various areas where they operate from and secondly they expect our SOE’s to pay dividends to our shareholder – our government, so that the government then uses that money to continue to provide service for our people.”

By the numbers; There are 9 State-Owned Entities, employing over 7,000 Papua New Guineans. These SOE’s collectively have assets valued at K9 billion, which earn around K3.1 billion in revenue. K937 million of this revenue is returned to the shareholder, which is the State.

A scenario, which according to the Minister responsible, is not good enough.

He said that this year, SOE’s should build on progress made in 2018 in aligning, and in some cases, merging operations to ensure maximum benefits.

Minister Duma remained confident that several changes to Boards of SOE’s, as well as management, SOE’s collectively would see a marked improvement over the next twelve months.

At the operational level, the performance of each SOE will be closely monitored by Kumul Consolidated Holdings, with each SOE told to provide Quarterly Reviews and Reports on time.

This includes reporting on

•            Major incidents, accidents or casualties

•            General increases or changes to tariffs,

•            Major disruptions to services,

•            Changes to service offerings, and

•            Major industrial disputes

But it doesn’t stop there.

All State-Owned-Entities have been advised to seek prior written approval from KCH regarding;

•            Staff restructuring plans,

•            Remuneration of Senior Management,

•            Overseas travel,

•            Asset acquisition and disposal, and

•            Negotiations with financial institutions and international agencies where grant funding is being offered or solicited

All these, according to the Minister, make for an interesting year ahead, with the state looking to ensure that SOE’s collectively see improvement to returns to the State through Dividends.

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