Making Board Members Accountable. I read an interesting article on the topic in the Cayman Observer. How many times have we wished we could sue a Board for wasting the public funds? Cayman Islanders think it is time to do something about it. They are discussing putting it in their Constitution!
The governing party has proposed that government should have a power to sanction Board members of Statutory Authorities and government companies deemed to have wasted public funds. Of course, it would be the next government that would bring charges. You would not sue your own Board member, no matter how incompetent and wasteful, would you? But, the previous governments’ appointees will be fair game. Better late than never!
Will such a development bring a damper on volunteers to Boards and committees? I hope so. Only serious people who understand the meaning of the phrase “public trust” should be allowed on a Board in the first place. Public funds are not meant to be a pork barrel to be put into the hands of political supporters for them to dig in to at will.
This initiative follows a series of damming reports by their Auditor General. Does our Auditor General publish damming reports? Does anyone in the public get to see his reports? I would love to know how we can get a copy of his last one. Is it not the sort of document that belongs on the new government website?
What is the use of having a provision in General Orders that any senior civil servant who wastes public funds can be made to repay it, if members of Boards and Statutory Authorities can waste even larger sums of money with impunity? Let us put a similar provision in our new Constitution!