Tue | May 30, 2023

Scott-Mottley favours excluding political directorate from public boards

Published:Friday | May 26, 2023 | 12:46 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Rudolph Brown/Photographer
Dr. Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and the Public Service,  speaks at the post cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House in Kingston on Wednesday.
Rudolph Brown/Photographer Dr. Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, speaks at the post cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House in Kingston on Wednesday.

OPPOSITION SENATOR, Donna Scott-Mottley, is in support of the government’s decision to exclude members of the political directorate from public boards.

She underscored that the work of boards is very important and requires qualified people.

“They have an opportunity to make their contribution in their own space and I think that is where they should confine it to in those terms. I like the fact that they are now looking at guidelines for becoming a board member. That was not the case and you could tell the deficiency when persons were just put there because of who they knew or because they support a particular political party,” Scott-Mottley said.

At Wednesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, finance minister, Dr Nigel Clarke, said members of the political directorate will no longer be able to be considered for nomination, selection or appointment to public boards once the Electronic Public Bodies Database of Prospective Directors is completed.

The database was launched last Thursday, following the passing of the Public Bodies Management and Accountability (Nomination, Selection, and Appointment to Boards) regulations in the House of Representatives last year.

“To be very specific, councillors who today are able to serve on the boards of public bodies, senators who today are able to serve on the boards of public bodies, once this database is complete and the system up and running, that will no longer be the case,” the finance minister explained on Wednesday.

FOR TRANSPARENCY

Minister Clarke reasoned that the government is modernising the Jamaican state and the process includes ensuring that the governance of public bodies who administer about $542 billion of expenditure, $580 billion of revenue and oversees more than a trillion dollars of assets, is professionalised.

“That it is transparent, that the process is the same for everyone and that we disband the structural conflict that exists where members of the political directorate, especially elected members have so far been able to serve on the boards of public bodies,” Clarke said.

However, senator Scott-Mottley said she wants to see more women being appointed on public boards and recommended that women occupy a 50 per cent stake.

“If you look all across, you will see that there are not many women who chair boards and they have a token two or three on a board. We have to have that kind of equity, especially in the political space so that we can encourage women to participate in this kind of governance and just in terms of making a contribution in that space,” she said.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com