Prime Minister James Marape has given the directive that Board Directors of  State-Owned Enterprises shall from now on be appointed strictly on merit.  No more appointments of "wantoks" and "political cronies".

Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH), the shareholding company of all  State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) has taken out advertisements in the newspapers inviting individuals, national or expatriate, to submit expressions of interest in Board director positions. Only those with the appropriate qualifications and business experience will be considered. Applications must be forwarded to KCH Managing Director, Darren Young, who oversees the screening process and makes recommendations to the NEC.

HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM WITH THIS IS THAT DARREN YOUNG IS ONE OF FORMER PM O'NEILL'S BIGGEST POLITICAL CRONIES. He does not hold an undergraduate degree, which is one of the requirements under the KCH Act for the position of MD, and he does not have an impressive work history in PNG. He was sacked by Steamships when he worked for them. 

He was also sacked when he worked for Peter O'Neill's construction company in Southern Highlands. He worked for the Constantinou Group of Companies and Sir Theo's Foundation - and was sacked again! So how did this expatriate get this very senior level, high paying job, earning around K5 million per annum? Furthermore, the KCH Managing Director position was never advertised, and there was no other contender for NEC's deliberation at the time. Can someone please tell us why? Mr Young is also currently a director for two companies with questionable links to O'Neill, namely Crown Hotel and Paradise Brewery.

In taking back PNG, PMJM cannot trust this person with this very important work. PMJM should, before appointing SOE board directors, review the KCH structure and make new appointments to the entire KCH Board, its MD, and senior level management. Otherwise, O'Neill and PNC will still be influencing the screening process of future Board directors.

FACT-CHECK my story, you will find that ALL these details are 100% correct.

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