Robert Ramarui, Chief Financial Officer of Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) has been appointed Acting CEO (Chief Executive Officer) taking over the role of PNCC Acting CEO from PNCC Director Jennifer Sugiyama while the company continues to seek a permanent CEO.

Board member Jennifer Sugiyama who had been Acting CEO for nearly 3 months said that PNCC Board wanted the management to take over the Acting CEO position but no one from the management wanted to accept the role initially.   After members of congress (Olbiil Era Kelulau) raised concerns about having a board member serving as Chief Executive Officer of the corporation, the Board met last week and appointed the CFO Ramarui as the new Acting CEO.

“We are appreciative of Senator Akitaya and Delegate Sinsak for meeting with us and offering recommendations addressing temporary vacancy of PNCC management positions,” said Sugiyama.

Senator Regis Akitaya, Chairman of Senate EPUI Committee, had requested for Senate’s legal counsel’s opinion on the PNCC Board member taking on the management role in PNCC.  Senate’s legal advice was that PNCC’s enabling law is silent on this matter and PNCC’s regulations do not address it either and that technically, PNCC’s law leaves it up to the PNCC board’s discretion.

The position of PNCC CEO became vacant when former CEO LeoBen Teriong resigned in early January after he was suspended with PNCC Chief Operating Officer Myers Techitong for allegedly not complying with PNCC’s procurement guidelines on the bid to clean PNCC’s mobile core network from Chinese technology.

The bid was pulled back from the winning bidder Blue Arcus Ltd. and PNCC had to pay back the expenses the company had already expended after it was awarded the bid.  According to Director Sugiyama, PNCC through the national government is requesting for the US military to help PNCC assess its entire network before they bid out the Clean Network project.

The vacancy announcement for the position of Chief Executive Officer was opened on February 7 and will close on Monday, March 3, 2022.

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