Gov’t will have final say in appointment of board members to government owned companies

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Council of Ministers will now have the final say in the selection of board members for government owned companies and foundations. Minister Richard Gibson said this decision was taken by the Council of Ministers this week, due to the wanton appointment of board members to government owned companies with little or no input from the Council of Ministers.

“A decision was taken going forward that all appointees to all government corporations, foundations, will not take place without the consent and approval of the Council of Ministers,” Minister Gibson announced.

Minister Gibson suggested that the appointment of board members for quite some time has been done with no input from the government which is the main shareholder and that it was time this practice stopped.

“We have seen a tendency of people being appointed to government boards…that the Council of Ministers sit back and have no say in. What has happened in the past with previous governments, for some obscure reason, government owned companies of which the government was a shareholder, they managed with the consent of previous governments to form another company, put it between the shareholder as a holding company and the operating company. And then the holding company becomes the decision maker as to who is going to be appointed to boards of the operating company. And the shareholder sits back, and twiddle its thumb and has no say,” Gibson explained.

He argued that the government as shareholder, is responsible to the public and as such the Council of Ministers must have a say in the appointment.

Going forward, the minister noted these company structures must be dismantled and the Council of Ministers must have the final say before the appointments to government boards are made.

He assured that this process will not affect the work of the Corporate Governance Council, which still has to approve the appointments by the Council of Ministers to these boards.