Koror State Governor's Chief of Staff Joleen Ngoriakl (Photo Courtesy of Joleen Ngoriakll Youtube Channel)

Koror State Governor Franco Gibbons executed two Designation of Authority (DOAs) documents designating his Chief of Staff Joleen Ngoriakl some of his operating authorities whilst he is away on off-island this month of October 5th to the 31st.

The designations state, “to act on my behalf in routine operation decisions and documents that require immediate action during my absence….may include but not limited to leave authorization, advance authorization, fuel authorizations, time sheets and overtime approval, final personnel action, travel approval…”

Delegation further states, “DOA does not extend to the execution of contracts; entering into major agreements; declaration of state emergencies; signing bills into law as well as other major state matters that require the full attention and presence of the Governor..”

Some have expressed concerns about designation of such authority to staff for extended period, in this case 26 days or nearly a month.

Koror State law KSPL No: K9-225-2010, amended during last Koror State government under Governor Adachi and Speaker Rudimch, amended K6-106-99 law regarding succession to the Office of Governor, allowing the governor to designateother persons the duties of the Office of Governor in event of disability or temporary absence.

The law states in part, “If the governor leaves the Republic of Palau for any period of time, then the Governor shall designate in writing the name of a person who shall fill the office of Governor during his absence.”

Furthermore, the law states that if such designation is not made in writing, the Speaker of Legislature will exercise the duties and functions of the Office of Governor and if speaker is not able to do so, the Vice Speaker of the legislature will exercise duties and functions of the office of Governor.

Governor Gibbons is said to be in Taiwan undergoing medical treatment. (L.N. Reklai)