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SIPA troubles return

Is SIPA sliding back into its past?


THE Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) appears to be sliding back into its past with revelations its new Chief Executive Officer [CEO] is bypassing procurement procedures.

Eranda Kotelawala of Sri Lanka is also being accused of picking overseas suppliers from his country for SIPA orders. As well, there are accusations, coming from within that Mr Kotelawala has allowed management to be “micromanaged by its Board.”

“(The) SIPA CEO bypasses Procurement Procedures and does whatever he wishes. Oversea Suppliers to be picked only on his list – must be from Sri Lanka,” insiders said.

“The New CEO Mr. Eranda seems to be drifting like [someone] without a vision. He is worse than Colin Yow.” Mr Yow was the most immediate past CEO who was sacked by the Board for “insubordination.”

Insiders said current activities under the new management have prompted staff to do something about the situation before SIPA falls again.

“SIPA Employees are carefully planning a massive strike to put a stop to all these corrupt practices both by Board & Executive Management,” one insider said.

“There are lots of issues arising but every key player in the company has been made to keep their mouth shut. New CEO is far worse than Colin Yow! Mr. Eranda has been pulled by the nose by the Board and instead of protecting the Company, they are exhausting the Company.

“Please help us (people of Solomon Islands) get things right. Lots worse than Yow’s time is happening but all are under radar. Most are scared of reporting issues due to job insecurities,” the insider said.

SIPA is losing Revenue due to lack of revenue procedures and giving away too much to Shipping Agents. This has brought SIPA Revenue down. SIPA will soon fall unless something is done,” insiders said.

They said SIPA had become friendly with Shipping Agents at the expense of the company’s expense.

Other revenue stream that would affect SIPA is the fact that “Container Washing Business of the Region has stopped coming. Reefer Containers Business also stopped. ONLY a few are operating.”

The SIPA management is also being accused of having “no definite SALARY STRUCTURE – salaries awarded according to whoever, does not reflect KOI indicators); ORGANISATION STRUCTURE (new posts, titles awarded almost very often but not provided in the original structure,” they said.


Other simmering issues being raised include:

  • SIPA Board Secretary, Charles Ashley being given the same treatment as a member of the SIPA Executive Management;
  • He has been awarded a brand new Toyota Hilux plated MA6391 at the expense of SIPA;
  • SBD122M profit by SIPA was Colin Yow’s achievement;
  • A recent SIPA trip to Japan costs SBD10,000 in Clothing Allowance even though company policy states Clothing Allowance for overseas trip is only SBD1,000 every two years; and
  • SIPA Executive Management & SIPA HR very premature. Needs experienced people to operate.

The Chairman of SIPA Board former Attorney General Billy Titiulu could not be contacted for comments. He was not picking up his telephone.