PAC grills Telikom on service fees

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday July 30th, 2013


THE Public Accounts Committee is disappointed with  Telikom PNG’s failure to explain the high charge on VSAT services in the country.

It ordered Telikom chief executive officer Charles Litau and three officers who appeared before the PAC inquiry in Port Moresby to resubmit a report they presented to explain why the charges were too high.

The committee criticised the lack of commitment by Telikom to deliver communication services to the people. 

The inquiry continued from the May session.

The PAC had instructed Telikom to provide a full explanation on why it was charging K1,200 per month for every VSAT service on its clients. 

It was also asked to explain why the high frequency communication system has been cut off in the past two years.    

PAC chairman and Bogia MP John Hickey and committee members comprising Northern Governor Gary Juffa and New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan were disappointed.

“The Government promised the people these vital facilities and there is nothing Telikom could show for them,” Hickey said.

“Initially K30 million was provided to install and maintain the high frequency equipment. 

“The report does not explain the charge on the equipment it does not own and why it had cancelled the HF system for a long period now. 

“Without communication the people in the rural areas have suffered one way or another.”

An explanation by the company on landowner issues was not accepted by the panel which questioned why Telikom chose customary land over State land to conduct State activities. 

Litau explained that the reciever located at Jackson Airport was ineffective as the transmitter had to be relocated to Boera village after the land on which it was located was sold. 

Litau said landowner issues at Boera had stalled  progress on the development since then. 

The PAC issued a directive to Telikom at 2pm yesterday to resubmit the report with specific answers to the VSAT fee, cancellation of HF system, landowner issues at Boera and possible alternatives to boost the HF communication service in the country. 

“I will make it my business to get the report and activities underway,” Litau said.