The intention to also start screening prospective supervisory board members – in addition to directors – of government-owned companies announced by Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin at Wednesday’s press briefing seems sensible enough. While not involved in day-to-day operations, these boards play an important role in overseeing management and safeguarding the interest of the enterprises and their shareholders; ultimately the people of St. Maarten.
What’s more, in the past these posts were usually filled to reward political supporters rather than based on relevant knowledge, capabilities and experience. It must be said, this no longer happens so often since the establishment of the Corporate Governance Council (CGC) that is to vet such appointments.
CGC’s advice isn’t binding, of course, which means deviating from it remains possible and already occurred several times. However, this should only be done with good reason and that does not appear to have always been the case.
On the other hand, to function properly the CGC obviously requires adequate resources. During the recent presentation of its 2018 annual report (see Monday paper) there was mention of certain challenges still faced, including a budget, housing and the hiring of staff.
The prime minister on that occasion “encouraged the efforts of the CGC in promoting and upholding the principles of good governance with an explicit emphasis on transparency.” Hopefully her expressed support will prove more than moral, because there are some quite down-to-earth basic needs that must be addressed.
While she’s at it, the advice of – for example – Curaçao’s corporate governance regulator STBNO is regularly published, even when negative. Perhaps that should be considered here too, so that residents are at least made aware of what is going on behind the scenes.
Talk about transparency.