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Bill introduced by President Toribiong

By Jose Señase SAIPAN, CNMI Islands (Marianas Variety, Feb, 1, 2011) - The Palau House of Delegates has passed the bill that establishes an independent government-owned utility that will manage, operate and provide water and sewer services to this island nation.

The bill, which was introduced by President Johnson Toribiong, now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

According to the bill, the administration of the Palau Water and Sewer Corporation will be controlled and its corporate powers exercised by a board of directors.

The board will have five members to be appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate. No board member may hold office in the national legislature, or the Olbiil Era Kelulau, or be an employee of the corporation.

The members of the board will serve for a term of three years. A board member may be reappointed and can also serve until his successor has been appointed.

By a majority vote, the board will appoint a chief executive officer who will be in-charge of the day-to-day operations of the corporation. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will carry out duties and functions assigned by the board and the corporation’s bylaws.

The CEO also has the power to retain, direct and terminate the services of employees in accordance with the policies established by the board.

The Executive Officer may be removed by a majority of board members.

The corporation will require all its customers to pay for services provided. There will be no free or discounted water or sewerage service provided to any employee of the corporation.

It will establish and implement a commercially sound rate and fee structure for water and sewer customers that meet the needs of the corporation to maintain and improve its operations in an economically feasible and sustainable manner.

The initial rates to be charged will be the rates charged by the national government on the date this bill becomes law.

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