PSOJ calls for implementation of Code of Conduct, training of public-sector boardsFriday, November 26, 2021
Kingston, Jamaica – The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) says that recurring reports of alleged impropriety on public boards has compelled it to once again record its tremendous concern and disappointment in the governance of public resources.
Highlighting recent allegations related to the Nutrition Products Limited (NPL), and the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), as well as reports of the misuse of public funds at the Clarendon Alumina Production (CAP), the PSOJ says the incidents of alleged corruption “serve only to erode the public's confidence in our leaders and increase mistrust in the governance of our country.”
In a release on Thursday, the PSOJ shared that with much of the provision of critical goods and services in Jamaica being provided through public bodies, including water, housing, health, petrol, etc, “it has become increasingly apparent that the existing governance structures need review and board members need proper training in their fiduciary responsibilities especially their fundamental responsibility to act in the best interest of the organisation.”
The organisation is calling for an urgent review of all Boards by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Portfolio Ministers in a bid to ensure that all boards fulfil the specified competency requirements.
The PSOJ is also calling for all directors of public boards to be adequately trained so that “there is full understanding of their duties, responsibilities and accountability,” noting that “areas of particular concern are conflict of interest and procurement.”
The organisation is once again urging the government to urgently pass the Public Bodies Management and Accountability (Nomination, Selection and Appointment to Boards) Regulations, 2020, pointing out that said regulations are a “foundational element in the public sector corporate governance structure.”
It is also requesting that the Code of Conduct for Boards be finalised and implemented and for “increased clarity in the relationship between public sector boards and ministries so that all participants and the public are clear as to their responsibilities.”