23 Mar 2011

Tonga public enterprise minister appoints son to run state-owned business

1:34 pm on 23 March 2011

The Tonga government has appointed the son of the public enterprises minister to head a state-owned business it says is in considerable financial difficulty.

It's appointed David Edwards as the new chairman of Tonga Timber Ltd, which reportedly has debts of nearly 200,000 US dollars.

The public enterprise minister, Clive Edwards, earlier spoke of mismanagement and poor governance in the state-owned enterprise sector.

He said there'd been significant losses or minimal profits from the government's commercial enterprises and a culture of non-compliance going back three years.

The government says to protect staff and assets at Tonga Timber it will restructure the company and undertake a recovery programme.

In addition to David Edwards, two current directors, Viliami Tiseli and 'Anau Falekakala, will be retained and they have three years to turn the company. around.