Public Accounts committee wants all SOEs returned as government departments.

The Public Account Committee (PAC) of the Fono Ekepule last week recommends that the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) be returned to the public service as government departments.

The chairperson of the public accounts committee Richard Hipa delivered the parliamentary select committees report on the budget estimates of the State-owned enterprises for 2020/2021.

One of the key recommendations of the Committee is for all the state-owned enterprises to return to the government as it was before.

According to Richard Hipa “ PAC was unanimous in these entities being brought back under Government to how it was”.

Hipa said that the committee could not see where the benefits for the government were in the current set up of the SOEs. Hence the recommendation to return these entities to the government.

Common Roll member O’love Jacobsen told the Fono that “We have committed a public wrong, a public wrong that has been made legally correct” Jacobsen continued saying that “We have done our people a very grave injustice” referring to how in 2011 parliamentary oversight of the main SOE Niue Philatelic & Numismatic Corporation (NPNC) was repealed.

The report also recommended that the community services obligations (CSO) of the NPNC should be determined by Cabinet. In the amendment of the NPNC Act 2011, the CSOs are determined by the Board and are for the activities in the promotion and protection of Taoga Niue.

Telecom Niue is a company established under the Niue Companies Act with one shareholder, currently the Minister of Finance and Infrastructure Crossley Tatui.

The state- owned enterprises covered in the public accounts committee’s report are Niue Philatelic & Numismatic Corporation which is also responsible for Nonu Farm, Government Housing and Niue Bond and Liquor and its subsidiary Kai Fiafia Café and Telecom Niue Ltd.

The report of the Public accounts committee was well received by the Fono Ekepule however, it remains to be seen whether Cabinet will support and endorse the recommendations to dissolve the state-owned enterprises and return them all as government departments.

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