A Board member of the Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) can be appointed as acting CEO of the company as long as he or she is not compensated states the legal opinion issued by the Senate legal counsel in response to an inquiry from Senate’s Committee on Energy, Public Utilities and Telecommunications (EPUT).

A Board member may legally hold the position of Acting General Manager if they are not receiving a salary for the position and comply with relevant restrictions of Palau’s Code of Ethics, Title 33, Chapter 6.

Unlike Palau Public Utilities Corporation’s (PPUC) law that bars the PPUC Board of Directors from employment within PPUC, PNCC law and regulations are silent on whether the Board member can be appointed as employees of PNCC.

“While the Palau Public Utilities Corporation may be governed in some ways that are similar to the governance structure of PNCC, the Board of PNCC does not face restrictions of the same magnitude as the PPUC Board at this time,” stated the legal opinion.

PNCC Board of Directors placed PNCC’s CEO Leoben Teriong and its COO Myers Techitong on suspension and PNCC Board member Bradley Kumangai was appointed as acting CEO.  After a week, the Board appointed Board member Jennifer Sugiyama as the Acting CEO until January 5.

Before the end of the suspension, both CEO Teriong and COO Techitong submitted their resignation and Board member Jennifer Sugiyama was re-appointed acting CEO until further notice.

The former CEO and COO were suspended after Senate questioned the awarding of a bid to a company Blue Arcus Technologies, to clean up PNCC’s core network from China-made technologies.  The former managers of PNCC said they followed PNCC’s bidding regulations.

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