Thu | Aug 22, 2019

Watchdogs like NIA need full transparency

Published:Tuesday | July 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM



Government ministries, departments and agencies are being called to account for their actions. Non-governmental organisations, as well as the Church, have been leading the call to hold Government accountable for its actions. But what about the accountability and transparency of some of these watchdog organisations?

Some concerns are as follows:

- Should they not publish their constitutions?

- How much money is received through contributions?

Some of these heads appear to be like communist organisations, where there is no change in leadership for long stretches, for example at NIA.

What are the salaries of these individuals and who decides on their remuneration?

Should their financials not be made public?

To cite an example, it was revealed that the NIA received contributions from Petrojam, an entity for which the NIA is calling for people's heads. Should not the NIA, to remove any perception of bias or conflict of interest, negatively or positively, state how much was received, how the request was made, whether the proper method was used to obtain the funds, and how the funds were spent.

If we are to be more supportive of, and have greater confidence in, these types of organisations, I suggest that heightened levels of transparency are needed. I have no axe to grind politically, but I am feeling that they are operating in a rather non-transparent way.