Thursday, 20 November 2014

Public Hearings Necessary for State Boards Seats

The Jamaican state is urgently in need of reform in terms of governance. There is much that is wrong in the society regarding how we appoint individuals to serve on boards of state entities. The cavalier and political divisive manner in which appointments to state board is done has manifested itself in the ongoing debacle now facing the remaining board members of the National Housing Trust who have refused to resign. 
Despite being appointed by the Prime Minister; it is clear that they have failed to understand that they are servants of the people of Jamaica. Such arrogance and rudeness is most unbecoming and does not inspire much hope for the future of Jamaica. Then again this is nothing new since the interest of the country is always a distant second to the interest of the two main political parties, yet we speak of national development.
The time has come for us to remove from having our politicians appoint members to state boards. Successive governments over the years have done this country a major disservice with their partisan politics and now we are paying dearly for their insular and selfish actions. May God help us.
We are now at that juncture in our country’s history where we need a mature approach to governance. However, since we are not there are yet maybe we should have public confirmation hearings where those who are nominated to serve on government boards can be rigorously quizzed and thoroughly questioned by members of the public. Those who are nominated to serve in such capacity must be prepared to answer questions from civil society before they are confirmed to serve as board members.
We need to strive towards an era of transparency and civility in this regards.
Frankly, we need to move away from having the same individuals serving on multiple state boards. Is it that only a select few in the society have the skills set necessary to serve their country? If this is so then we are in big trouble.  Oftentimes such member they have no knowledge and or expertise in the industry. We need to know the educational background of such individuals and clearly this would be exposed at a public confirmation hearing.  The people of Jamaica deserve better especially in a time of great personal sacrifice.  Have we forgotten the pledge of good governance to the people?
In the words of the apostle Luke: "But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more”.  Let us recommit ourselves to this nation of ours, it’s not too late to make a u-turn and do what is decent and socially responsible.
Wayne Campbell
waykam@yahoo.com