COMMENTARY: Redefine How We Select Boards In The Interest Of Good Governance

11
Audley Phillip

……By: Audley Phillip

Redefine How We Select Boards In The Interest Of Good Governance

 

In just a little over a week, the people of Antigua and Barbuda will be going to the polls to elect a government to run the affairs of state for the next five years.  It is a crucial election for more reasons than one. Good luck to all the candidates.

 

Regardless of who wins the January 18th General Elections, the incoming government and the new house of representatives must quickly enact laws and rules governing the nomination, selection, management and accountability of Boards.  This process represents a seminal tool towards achieving improved Corporate Governance in respect to public bodies.

 

There is an urgent need for a more transparent and structured approach to the process of public body appointment.  All citizens have a vested interest in seeing our public bodies meeting and fulfilling their mandates.

 

Every single public body in Antigua impacts the lives of ordinary citizens on a daily basis and their Boards and Managers have control and Management of vast amounts of State resources.

 

There need to be greater and more transparent regulation of the process of Board appointment given the implications for achieving good public governance.

The names, knowledge, skill and experience of prospective directors must be subjected to a due diligence check and suitability for the post selected.

 

Public bodies are integral to the development and implementation of governments key policy objectives.  They are held accountable in relation to various statutory requirements.

 

Public bodies are NOT  the government of the day money chest and the Directors and Management must look out for their stakeholders interest.  The Board plays a supervisory’s  role, overseeing corporate activities and assessing performance.

 

Given the things that have been allowed to happen over the years at many of these Statutory bodies, it is clear that  many of them lack the competence and the independence that is required in order to function independently and  properly..  Over the years,  State bodies’ Board of Directors have reneged on their responsibility and have allowed the Central Government  to plunder the resources of one body or another in a most reckless  and callous manner.

 

If we simply just turn a blind eye to this and allow the status quo to continue, we would be leaving a country and a legacy for our children that is far from healthy.  We also cannot continue to have Cabinet  Ministers and other sitting Parliamentarians sit on public boards.  It is a conflict of interest and sends the wrong message.

 

We also need to undertake a  process of rationalisation of the public bodies  as we seek to identify their relevance, the effectiveness of their roles and functions and  determine the best modality by which those functions should be conducted.. The rationalisation or public bodies will result in fewer public bodies, increased efficiency in public service operations and better governance of the sector. It will also free up resources to pursue development of priority areas such as Health, Education, Public Works and Public Utilities.

 

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11 COMMENTS

    • @Really: You say,written by a nobody. Could that statement be applied to you? I am one who is highly against Cabinet Ministers sitting on Statutory or any Boards. It is a conflict of interest. Here are two examples. Maria Browne,as Minister of Lands and Housing sitting as a Board Member of West Indies Oil. Then there are others Cabinet Ministers on LIAT and NYAMCO BOARDS. Why do Ministers need to sit on Boards. To enrich themselves by using insider information.

    • In this country, we never look at the message…..instead be consistently bash the messenger. This is not about me. I have children and we must look to leave a better Antigua and Barbuda for them. I never singled out any political party as they have all been guilty of packing their boards with unqualified supporters who brings nothing to the said boards but the fact that they back the party. How does this help Antigua? How does this safeguard good governance? It is partisan people such as you that sees nothing wrong with the current situation that would continue to ride the wave that benefits a few while the masses suffers.

    • BRIXTONIAN and His STUPID UTTERANCES. That is the reason for the following.

      Election 2023 results in Antigua / Barbuda 🇦🇬

      ABLP. WIN ALL. 17 SEATS

      UPP. . 00 SEAT ( 12 CANDIDATES LOSE DEPOSITS)

      DNA. 00 SEAT ( ALL THE LOSE DEPOSITS )

      BPM. ….. 00 SEAT

      ASOT MICHAEL. ……. 00 SEAT

      BRIXTONIAN and CHARLES TABOR will run around Antigua as NAKED as They were born. Harold Lovell will be on Blood Pressure medication. All other UPP CANDIDATES will run away from UPP. UPP DONE / FINISHED.

  1. As long as labour government running this country nothing will change. They will continue to put their yes people and lackies on these boards. If you are independent, they will get rid of you. Government ministers are the highest paid public employees. Why are the heading or on these boards? Because they greedy and them alone must eat down this country. Most of labour supporters don’t have a clue what is going on and if they know, they don’t care. Just give the free food and fett.

  2. They need people with knowledge and skills to run these boards, but if we don’t have people with knowledge and skills to run the country then what’s going to happen?

  3. Yes make it a labor party issue…lest we forget how many boards for instance the chairperson of the UPP was on.

  4. Dotsie Isaac was the secretary for the RAG-TAG HYPOCRITE!! Did Dotsie Isaac also get appointed to a board???

  5. Wonderful article!! We know the politicians are not gonna do it as it in these Statutory bodies that most of these CORRUPTIONS are committed.
    Question: How can WE the PEOPLE make sure that the government of the day adapt most of these brilliant suggestions (any suggestion)? If we can/do maybe WE who really value Country over/before Political Parties will be able to bring about changes for better Governance.

  6. Mr. Audley Phillip, I , Charlie Simon, endorse your article 100%. I take umbrage with those who seek to disparage whatcis evidently and obviously the plain truth. The idiot who suggests that you are “a nobody who thinks he is a sonebody” has only exposed himself as a person who does not think, and does not care about good governance in our country. Again, I endirse every eord of your article 100%.

  7. Most boards are run by yes men and women. This administration is a one man show. There is not one board that is not under the control of Gaston Browne. Great article but will not happen in Antigua.

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