Palau National Telecommunications Corporation (PNCC)’s Chief Executive Officer Leoben Teriong and Chief Operating Officer Myers Techitong have submitted their resignations to PNCC, according to a reliable source within PNCC. The mobile core network replacement bid, to clean up PNCC’s core network of Chinese technology, has been put out to bid again.
Both PNCC’s CEO Teriong and COO Techitong were placed on suspension on December 30, 2021, after Olbiil Era Kelulau questioned the awarding of the bid to a company without requiring a performance bond and alleged lack of adherence to procedures. The two company officers were slated to return to the office on January 5, at the end of their suspension, but both submitted their resignations instead.
The PNCC Board of Directors assigned its Chairman Bradley Kumangai as acting CEO until December 7 and afterward appointed Director Jennifer Sugiyama to the acting CEO position until January 5.
The company officers are said to have been placed on suspension while the Board conducts a review of PNCC’s bidding procedures.
Meanwhile, PNCC Board and Blue Arcus Technologies have come to a mutual agreement to terminate the contract on the mobile core network replacement project. According to a reliable source, Blue Arcus have agreed to return the remaining funds after their costs and expenses have been deducted. The project was put out to bid again and the opening is this Thursday, January 7th. The contract was said to be terminated due to PNCC’s own failure to follow its bidding procedures.
PNCC had issued a bid to remove the Huawei technology from its mobile core network and the United States government had offered a grant of $2.6 million to fund the cost of replacing the core network with approved technology.
Blue Arcus Technologies was selected as a bidder and (based on the public hearing testimony of PNCC officers) in order to expedite the work and have PNCC’s core network cleaned up before Our Oceans Conference, they had paid half of the bid price to the company. Engineers from Blue Arcus were already on the island conducting training when Senate raised the complaints.
President Whipps at the December press conference said that any loss incurred as a result of this bidding controversy will be the responsibility of PNCC.