New Guidelines for the Appointment of Public Boards

Photo: Mark Bell Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams (second right), greets Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited President and Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Zacca, during Tuesday’s (July 3) launch of the 2018 Public Bodies’ Corporate Governance Awards at the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) head office, Hope Road, Kingston. Mrs. Williams was the keynote speaker. Others (from left) are PSOJ Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer McDonald, and Vice President, Dennis Cohen; and Chair, PSOJ Corporate Governance Committee, Greta Bogues.

Story Highlights

  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams, says the Government will be taking steps to enact proposed new guidelines for the appointment of Boards of public bodies.
  • The guidelines are in keeping with the Administration’s undertaking to further strengthen the corporate governance framework of statutory bodies, in order to improve accountability and the transparency of their operations.
  • Mrs. Williams said the guidelines, which were approved by Cabinet following a recent submission by Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, will afford anyone interested in serving on the Board of a statutory body with the opportunity to do so, once they meet the stipulated minimum criteria.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams, says the Government will be taking steps to enact proposed new guidelines for the appointment of Boards of public bodies.

The guidelines are in keeping with the Administration’s undertaking to further strengthen the corporate governance framework of statutory bodies, in order to improve accountability and the transparency of their operations.

Mrs. Williams said the guidelines, which were approved by Cabinet following a recent submission by Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, will afford anyone interested in serving on the Board of a statutory body with the opportunity to do so, once they meet the stipulated minimum criteria.

She noted that these would include persons having expertise in the activities in which the public bodies are engaged.

The Minister was speaking at the launch of the second annual Public Bodies’ Corporate Governance Awards at the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) head office in Kingston on Tuesday (July 3).

“We believe in this policy guideline… as a next step in the evolution to enhance the corporate governance (framework) of public bodies in Jamaica,” she said.

Noting that Jamaica has approximately 190 public bodies, Mrs. Williams emphasised that corporate governance is vital in the stewardship of these entities and their Boards, to ensure that they operate in a manner that positions accountability as the “highest priority”.

“Poor corporate governance can weaken an entity, lead to financial difficulties and cause long-term damage. For us, accountability is the acknowledgement and assumption of responsibility for action, and includes the obligation to report, explain and be answerable. So, the policy guidelines for nomination, selection and appointment of Boards of public bodies (are intended) to streamline this process,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Williams is encouraging more State entities to participate in this year’s Public Bodies’ Corporate Governance Awards and improve on the 13 that entered last year.

The competition, which was first held in 2017, aims to promote awareness and adherence to the principles of good governance, encourage improvement in the standard of corporate governance disclosure, and recognise public bodies that have established high standards of corporate governance disclosure and practices.

Also expressing similar sentiments as those put forward by the Minister were PSOJ Vice President, Dennis Cohen; President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited, one of the event’s main sponsors, Christopher Zacca; and Chair of the PSOJ’s Corporate Governance Committee, Greta Bogues.

The Public Bodies’ Corporate Governance Awards is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and the PSOJ.

Entries and queries should be directed to Ms. Greta Bogues, Chair, PSOJ Corporate Governance Committee, Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, 39 Hope Road, Kingston 10, telephone: 876.927.6238 or email: gretab@cwjamaica.com or cherylb@psoj.org.

The deadline for submitting entries is October 1, with the awards ceremony slated for December 2018.

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