Mrs Natalie Neita-Headley, the de facto sports minister, misses the point. The matter is not the personal integrity of the individual members of the board of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO). They are all probably deserving of halos.
The fact, however, is that they have managed the recent affairs of the agency incompetently, so as to give purchase to people abroad searching for opportunities to bring Jamaica's athletics into disrepute.
Among the most glaring examples of the board's ineptitude was its vacillation in agreeing on a date for the team from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to visit Jamaica for an audit of JADCO's drug-testing regime.
The JADCO directors were supposedly too occupied to accommodate WADA this year. The impression was that Jamaica had something to hide. In the end, after being publicly embarrassed by WADA officials, they relented. The WADA team came and left without any discernible impact on personal or national affairs. But the further damage to Jamaica's reputation was done.
It is for such a glaring display of poor judgement that the JADCO directors should appreciate the wisdom in the call by this newspaper and others for their resignation.
If they claim to have acted on the instructions of a power higher than their own, that would be greater reason for their resignation. That would merely be confirmation of the board having surrendered its moral authority to lead.
Further, as Mrs Neita-Headley should appreciate, the demand for people at the head of firms or other kinds of organisations to make way for new leadership is not always a question of integrity or individuals' skills. It often boils down to trust and support.
It is usually the case that leaders on whose watch public trust erodes are not the ones to manage the recovery. The mistrust often lingers; or changing negative perception is more difficult and takes longer.
The arrogance with which this board first ignored, and then responded to, claims that Jamaica's drug-testing system has broken down causes many people to be uneasy with the current lot.
We fear that this was not the result of a simple case of misjudgement, but a deep mindset and enduring approach to governance: of old-school ideas that organisations, if they do good, need not be transparent and accountable. Even if in this case old dogs might learn new tricks, we would prefer to wipe the slate clean and start with a new board.
The timing is opportune. A new executive director is in place at JADCO, hopefully uncontaminated by the old culture of hubris and the Officials Secrets Act.
New staff are being hired, JADCO is getting additional funds to do its work, and the agency is to get support from WADA to strengthen its systems. The existing board can appropriate these as its credit.
But they should appreciate the larger picture that there is nothing personal in asking them to leave. It is Jamaica's interest that is at stake.
They ought not to impose on the loyalty of Prime Minister Simpson Miller by digging in. They should honourably resign.
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