19 April 2017

Tonga becomes first Pacific country to publish detailed SOE performance results online

The updated website was launched by Poasi Tei, Minister of Public Enterprises (fourth
from left). Also pictured at the launch are Sione ‘Akau’ola, CEO, Ministry of Public
Enterprises; Christine Ford, Assistant Director, Pacific Economic Growth Division,
Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Andrew Ford,
Australian High Commissioner to Tonga; Minister Tei; Elena Procuta, Acting New Zealand
High Commissioner to Tonga; and Tatafu Moeaki, ADB Development Coordinator.
With PSDI support, Tonga's Ministry of Public Enterprises' website has been updated to provide key information about Tonga’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs)--a first for the Pacific. 

Profiles of each of Tonga’s SOEs, including recent financial performance and the names of board members, as well as the performance of its overall SOE portfolio, are now available on the website. 

The updated website was launched today by Tonga's Minister of Public Enterprises Poasi Tei at a demonstration attended by the Australian High Commissioner and New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner.

"Tonga’s public enterprise portfolio is composed of 14 entities which together hold an estimated T$454m in assets, and it is our responsibility as a government to ensure the proper stewardship of this investment," said Minister Tei.  

"As a Ministry, we are implementing an ongoing program of reforms to improve the performance of the PEs, and this has made our portfolio one of the best performing in the Pacific. While we are very proud of this achievement, we are also conscious of how quickly public enterprise results can deteriorate when political commitment to commercial outcomes weakens. Our government’s commitment remains strong, as the launch of this website illustrates."

The updated Ministry of Public Enterprises website features profiles on each
of Tonga's state-owned enterprises.
Development of the updated website and reforms guiding it were supported by PSDI, as were amendments to the Public Enterprise Act in 2010, which required SOE financial accounts to be published in local newspapers.

PSDI is assisting a number of other countries in the region to also make information on their SOEs’ performance publicly available.