I will never abuse my role as a trustee: New VNPF GM

VNPF Board welcomes new GM Achary (l-r): VNPF Chairman Alan Lew, Deputy Chair Henrickson Malsokle, GM Achary, representative from Ministry of Finance and VNPF Board Member, Roan Lester

By Anita Roberts

The newly appointed General Manager (GM) of the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF), Parmod Achary, said he will never abuse his role as a trustee and he expects all VNPF employees to do the same.

GM Achary gave his assurance to the Minister of Finance responsible for the institution, the VNPF Board, members and employees of VNPF, investors and the government during a welcome reception yesterday.

“I am not here to take away this job from Ni Van citizens," said the new head of VNPF.

“I am here to help and share the skills which i have developed, in my 27 years of work with the Fiji National Provident Fund.

“I will always act in accordance within the provisions of the VNPF Act. I am appointed and assigned by the board to be the custodian of our members' funds. To perform this responsibility as your GM, i have to act in a prudent manner.

“I must protect the members' properties in whatever form, for example, cash , buildings and assets”.

Achary is the 9th GM of VNPF, since 1987.

He was appointed after three consecutive advertisements for the position, since March last year.

He succeeds former GM Santos Vatoko.

After applauding the past eight managers for their contribution to the growth of VNPF, the new GM said:

“Our vision now is to be the best managed provident fund in the region and to protect members interests.

“VNPF will be 30 years old this year.

“The environment in which VNPF is operating has changed enormously. We are no longer competing in only a local market, we are more globalized.

“With VNPF, i want to advance a step further. We will be an efficient organization, provide quality and appropriate services considering quality”.

VNPF has been in the negative limelight since the 1998 riot, which subsequently brought the General Reserve Account (GRA) to a Vt350million deficit, following a declared state of emergency enabling a mass withdrawal, said the Minister of Finance , Gaetan Pikioune.

Minister Pikioune gave a brief history of VNPF: when it was rebuild by the Asian Development Bank after the riot and cleared from deficit in 2001, investments acquired and failures encountered over the years including the recent commission of inquiry against alleged mismanagement , illegal and improper conduct of past and present VNPF staff.

Despite the challenges, the government strongly believes VNPF must rise and do what it has been mandated to do; to safeguard the hardworking members' savings and ensure annual interest is paid into their accounts, said Minister Pikioune.

“The recent commission of inquiry clearly recommend a terms of reference for the new GM to ensure a follow up of their report," the minister conveyed in his speech, which was delivered by a representative.

“Therefore, his contractual duties relate to the implementation of the report, particularly internal operational practices.

“Areas identified for action by the GM include: reconciliation of existing member accounts and operating expenses, review and strengthening internal auditing processes, proper enforcement of procurement guidelines, development of board management guides, adequate resourcing and improved policies, processes and structure of investment team and a review of human resources policies and practices to be submitted to the Regulatory Task Force.”

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