BCA legal minds planning 'surgery' on Wehby governance report

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BCA legal minds planning 'surgery' on Wehby governance report

Saturday, August 15, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Barbados Cricket Association President Conde Riley said Thursday the local governing body has established a “high-powered” committee to examine the recommendations put forward recently by the Independent Task Force for Corporate Governance Reform.

Riley, a prominent Cricket West Indies director, told a media conference here the committee would carry out “surgery” on the 36-page governance report with a sense of “urgency”, and expected to be able to submit its findings within a month.

“We are in the process as a board of putting together a group to do a surgery on the proposals,” Riley said.

“Our committee that we have put together will look at it, come back to the board, and then we will make our submission.

“I remember the last report was the Barriteau Report which said they would dissolve Cricket West Indies — it cannot be done in law. I'm not a lawyer…but I know you cannot take over a company.

“The only body that can do that would be the shareholders, and all six shareholders would have to agree to that. If one says no, it's over.

“But, we will report to our membership and the people of Barbados in due course once that committee does its surgery on this report.”

The BCA is one of six constituent boards of CWI currently mulling over the report which was submitted last week by task force chairman, Jamaican businessman and senator, Don Wehby.

Among the recommendations is a reduction in the size of the board from its current total of 18 members to 12, and the inclusion of at least two women to reflect diversity.

The report also calls for a decrease in committees from 12 to five and a redefining of the roles of the president and vice-president in order to strengthen their non-executive nature.

Riley, who has often been at odds with the current Ricky Skerritt-led administration, said he has no issues with reducing the size of the board once the executive functions are carried out efficiently.

“If they say — and again the shareholders would have to agree to this — you reduce the board, instead of having two directors per shareholder you have one, once you have the executive arm functioning properly I have no difficulty with that,” Riley explained.

“But, as I said, we're going to deal with it as a board, take the advice of the committee which we've put together. And the committee is a fairly high-powered one.

“We have asked that this thing be dealt with ASAP so I hope that within a month we will have a report, if not sooner.”

The task force was commissioned by Skerritt following his unseating of three-term incumbent Dave Cameron last year, making good on a campaign promise to review the governance structure of CWI once elected.

Wehby's committee comprised an eminent group of Caribbean personalities, with The University of the West Indies (UWI) vice chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; West Indies Vice-Captain Deryck Murray; Jamaican businessman, O K Melhado; and prominent Caribbean lawyer Charles Wilkin, all helping pen the report.

Skerritt said CWI is determined to “do all we can to ensure the implementation of this report”.


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