The Marshall Islands Judiciary System and Marshall Islands Resort sit at the top of the audit pyramid for their exemplary unqualified audit reports a week into the Public Accounts Committee’s annual oversight hearings at the Nitijela Conference Room.
Following testimony from judiciary staff members, PAC Chairman Senator Bruce Bilimon of Maloelap was effusive in his praise of the court system. He asked Court Clerk Ingrid Kabua to take back to Chief Justice Carl Ingram the committee’s recognition for the excellent management evident through audits and staff testimony.
Other entities like Air Marshall Islands, Kwajalein Atoll Joint Utility Resources and Marshalls Energy Company received commendable feedback from the PAC panel.
A new development in the public hearing is the fact that witnesses are required to undergo an oath prior to presenting testimony. Chairman Billimon administered the oath to representatives of every department and agency that testified.
PAC member Senator David Kramer acknowledged MIR’s leadership — adding that hotel management is on the right track and is doing great as evidenced by the recent MIR management of Ebeye Hotel and restaurant at Kwajalein Atoll.
KAJUR was also commended for having 100 percent locals on its payroll. Kramer asked if MEC would follow suit, to which MEC General Manager Jack Chong Gum said it is possible as long as staff are trained properly. Chong Gum said in this week’s hearing that he is an advocate of placing locals first.
Another knockout question by Kramer, this time to AMI leadership, asked whether and when can AMI be independent from RMI’s subsidy?
AMI leadership said once AMI has total control of ground services, then, and only then, can it increase revenue enabling the airline to end decades of government subsidy.
AMI was also commended for investing in human resources and for servicing outer islands with unpaved runways that cause damage to AMI’s planes.
Also notable this week was AMI General Manager Drauna Waqasokolala’s message to the general public: “AMI is no longer Air Maybe! — We are Air Marshalls.”
Read more about this in the July 13, 2018 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.