Wed | Jun 19, 2019

The Gleaner Editors' Forum | Corporate governance code a success, says NHF director

Published:Tuesday | September 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer

DIRECTOR OF the National Health Fund (NHF) and chairperson of its corporate governance committee, Cecile Watson, said last week that the benefits derived from the implementation of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica's (PSOJ) Corporate Governance Code are tremendous.

Watson was part of a panel at a Gleaner Editors' Forum that discussed issues relating to governance in Jamaica, at the company's North Street offices in Kingston.

"It has provided a filter through which we can really consider decisions and make sure they are under the umbrella of good corporate governance. We have the framework, which is from the Ministry of Finance. There are ten dimensions of corporate governance that they are testing and within each one of those they put certain codes in place. All of those have to be approved by the board," Watson told editors during the forum.

Watson said she was pleased that the governance code leaves room for even boards to be evaluated. Last year, Watson and her team walked away with the Public Sector Corporate Governance Award.

"What that does is give the board the opportunity to evaluate how it is performing. We evaluate the chairman, we also evaluate the boards' performance generally and we also evaluate ourselves. That information is then collated and shared. This forms the basis to have a conversation, to hear the things, hear the gaps, why are we ranked low in this or high in this, and what are the improvements needed in order to be in full compliance with the codes that have been rolled out. I think that has been proven to be very instrumental in guiding the decision making," Watson reasoned.