Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Reform boards and leave lasting legacy

Published:Friday | April 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM


On Sunday, April 17, 2016, The Gleaner's editorial put forward the idea that the thinking behind how government boards are appointed should be reviewed. I add here my two pennies worth of ideas on the subject.

Boards should have, in principle, fewer political persons than others, and persons then who would be more knowledgeable of the subject goals of the organisation and who, for the most part, would be independent of the politicians.

On a board of 11 persons, five should be political, three from the government party of whom one would be the chairperson, and two from the opposition party. Six others would be from the wider civil society, perhaps selected by our governor general now and, later, perhaps the president of our republic to be of the future, coming from academia, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, and, in the case of a body such as the regional health authorities, a person recommended by the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association.

Boards should not have tenure longer than three to four years. In the case of political appointments, they should have limits of no more than two or three consecutive terms. Quite certainly, persons from the wider public could be coming and going, but they would be serving there as persons of competence and integrity.

Any prime minister who wishes to become a transformational leader and leave a legacy for us in our nation could do so by reforming boards along this line.