Jennifer Sugiyama, PNCC board member and Secretary, has taken over as acting CEO/GM of PNCC, replacing Bradley Kumangai, another board member who was designated on December 1st as the acting CEO/GM during the temporary suspension of PNCC’s CEO Leoben Teriong. The temporary position was initially set to end on December 7th but it has since been extended to January 5th.
On November 30th, Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC)’s CEO/General Manager Leoben Teriong and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Myers Techitong were suspended by the Board of Directors until December 7, concerning questions raised by the Senate on the procurement of the provider of PNCC’s new core network.
Concerns were raised by Senate Committee on Energy, Public Utilities and Communications about the company that was awarded the contract, it’s size, experience and its ability to full fill the contract requirements.
Specific reasons for their suspension have not been made public and PNCC Chairman Kumangai refused to divulge, citing privileged personnel information.
Senate President Hokkons’s comments during the November 30th Special Session, expressed dissatisfaction with PNCC management’s decision and approval of the company Blue Arcus. “We don’t have the power to fire them, but something needs to be done,” stated Hokkons.
Senator Regis Akitaya’s letter alleges that PNCC did not follow the proper process in procuring the vendor to replace its core network and remove Huawei technology.
PNCC Chairman Kumangai insisted that PNCC did not violate its procurement policy, yet it suspended its top managers CEO Teriong and COO Techitong.
The Senate held several oversight hearings with PNCC and expressed its upset with PNCC decision which likely led to PNCC’s Board’s decision to suspend both its CEO and COO.
Meanwhile, rumors circulate that PNCC has terminated Blue Argus, the company that was awarded the contract. Chairman Kumangai says negotiations are still ongoing with Blue Arcus, but he insists that they want to go back and do it all over again.
Getting PNCC’s core network changed before the Oceans Conference in February, as President Whipps has earlier indicated, does not look feasible at this stage if plans to revert to the beginning of the procurement process go through.