Sunday, July 24, 2016

MRDC responds to allegations of funding the Government camp in Alotau

BY: Anonymous, PNGLOOP
10:02, July 24, 2016

The board of the Mineral Resources Development Company has slammed allegations made by Sinasina-Yongomugl MP Kerenga Kua on the FM 100 Talk Back Show last Wednesday (July 20).

“It is with much disappointment that the Board of MRDC is placed in a position where it is forced to respond to comments implying that the managing director of the Company withdrew funds, which are under trust management arrangements, for purposes of facilitating the Government’s meetings as well as the political developments in the last seven days,” MRDC said in a statement.

The Company “rejects outright the allegations made against the office of the managing director which are baseless and devoid of any truth. Furthermore, the Board reserves its right to seek legal redress for the slanderous and defamatory allegations levelled against the Company”.

On the show, it was alleged that State funds were used to facilitate the Government’s activities last week, this included the Government camp in Alotau, Milne Bay Province.

“MRDC is owned by the State but was incorporated under the Companies Act back in May 1975.

“The Company is operated and managed under the supervision of the Board, which currently comprises of highly experienced and qualified independent directors as well as directors who represent the interests of the people.

“In terms of corporate governance, the company is run in accordance with its Constitution (2003) and commercial principles as stated in the Companies Act 1997,” the firm states.

MRDC says the managing director does not possess any powers or authority to act unilaterally without the approval or endorsement of the Board.

“The managing director is accountable to the Boards of MRDC and the subsidiary companies under MRDC management.

“Under the Oil and Gas Act 1998, separate corporate trustee Boards have been established and are responsible for the administration of the trust properties and assets in accordance with the respective trust deeds which have been approved by the Minister.

“Furthermore, each of the corporate trustees have their own independent Boards separate from MRDC and are governed by their respective constitutions. Decisions relating to investments and distributions of equity and royalty payments are the sole prerogative of the respective Boards and not a single director, let alone the managing director of MRDC.”

The recent statements by anonymous persons, as well as the learned leaders, are a cheap and low shot, says the Company.

“The statements made in the media have the real potential to destabilise the peace and security of the project area communities as well as present serious security risks to the project operations in the field.

“Such risks to the project area communities and the project operations can in turn have significant financial and economic impact on the people and the country if the beneficiaries of the Trusts decide to take matters into their own hands due to a loss of trust in MRDC, which the Company has worked really hard to earn over the years.

“The Board would like to consider that the authors did not fully appreciate the implications of their statements, and would not have recklessly uttered those statements in public forums had they been responsible enough to foresee the implications of the statements relating to the allegations.”

(The Government team preparing to leave for Alotau last Sunday, July 17.)

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