A NEWS article published by Fiji Sun newspaper in September 2021 has shed some light on who appointed Peter Stewart as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the 2023 Pacific Games Organising Committee.
It follows concerns that some members of the 2023 Pacific Games Organizing Committee (GOC) were not aware of Mr Stewart’s engagement.
Insiders told Solomon Star last week most board members have not seen Mr Stewart’s employment contract.
But the Fiji Sun newspaper report said Mr Stewart was appointed by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in early September 2021. Radio New Zealand International carried the initial report, which was subsequently published by the Fiji Sun on 7th September 2021.
Stewart was selected following a competitive international recruitment process, the report quoting Mr Sogavare, said.
“Most importantly for his role in helping us deliver a successful and memorable games in 2023, Mr. Stewart has over 30 years of experience working on major events around the world including in Pacific Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics Games,” Mr Sogavare was quoted as saying.
“Peter Stewart will work directly with (the) Chair of Games Organising Committee, Martin Rara, who is also the Vice Chair of the National Hosting Authority (NHA) Board and the President of the Host Pacific Games Association (PGA) and the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands,” the report said.
The Australian-based administrator was CEO of the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby and has held several other positions in Papua New Guinea and at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.
Stewart replaced Shalom Akao Waita, who was the first woman to lead a Pacific Games Organising Committee and a former Solomon Islands netball and basketball representative. She was appointed in October 2020 but stood down in early 2021.
The Games Organising Committee [GOC] employed five senior officials at the time but hoped to engage over 300 staff and 2, 500 volunteers.
GOC is tasked with delivering the sports program for the 2023 Games, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies, marketing, broadcasting, security, transport and logistics, and the meals and accommodation for an estimated 5,000 athletes and officials.
It is also responsible for hiring and firing workers.
Earlier this week, insiders told Solomon Star some Board members were not aware who employed Mr Stewart.
When told the Prime Minister was responsible for Mr Stewart’s appointment, they still insist that appointing someone is one thing, offering the contract of employment to that individual is quite another.
“It has its own process,” one insider said.
It is quite possible the appointment was never formally conveyed to the Board, which remains in the dark about Mr Stewart’s engagement.
Mr Stewart has never responded to email queries on the matter.
——Source: Fiji Sun, Tuesday, 07 September 2021.
by Alfred Sasako