Public Report on breaches of the Leadership Code by Sato Kilman, Minister of Lands – February 24, 1998 - Emalus Campus

Public Report on breaches of the Leadership Code by Sato Kilman, Minister of Lands – February 24, 1998


Mr. Kilman, at all material times was the Minister of Lands and a director of SK Logging.  On July 18, 1997, the Council of Ministers met and unanimously approved the lifting of a prohibition on the export of round logs.  At the same meeting, licenses for the export of round logs were unanimously granted to 5 logging companies including SK Logging.  Mr. Kilman voted on both matters.  Mr. Kilman later accepted that this was improper.

The Annual Reports filed on behalf of SK Logging listed Mr. Kilman as a beneficial owner.  This was disputed by Mr. Kilman.  However, it was not disputed that he earned 200,000 vatu per month for his directorship of the company.  Nor was it disputed that Mr. Kilman had the care of a new Mercedes belonging to Mr. Nyi.  Mr. Nyi, a Malaysian national was a beneficial owner of SK Logging.

Mr. Nyi had been granted a Vanuatu Diplomatic Passport.  This was obtained with the assistance of Mr. Kilman.  Mr. Kilman referred to Mr. Nyi as a colleague.  He told the Ombudsman that, “Whatever business Mr Nyi wants to go in I’ll assist him.

It was found that Mr. Kilman brached the Leadership Code by placing himself in a conflict of interest between his private interests and his public duties.  His willingness to seek a diplomatic passport for Mr. Nyi cast doubt on his intergrity.

·       That Mr. Kilman discontinue his involvement as both Minister of Lands and a person with an association with a logging company.

·       That Mr. Kilman consider not running for re-election and, that if he is re-elected, he resign all directorships and declare all shareholdings he has in companies.

·       That Parliament immediately vote on the Leadership Code Bill.


Written by Edward R. Hill
UNDP Governance and Accountability Project
January, 2001
© Ombudsman of Vanuatu
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