It is time for a totally new strategy to be formulated by Government regarding how statutory bodies are appointed and managed in Barbados.
That’s the view of noted retired economist Sir Frank Alleyne.
The former professor in development economics at the University of the West Indies is advising Government that statutory corporations are crying out for reform. He made the comments Thursday night during the Errol Barrow Memorial Lecture And Awards Ceremony at the Frank Collymore Hall. His topic was Management Of A Small Open, Tourism-Dependent Economy In A context Of A Major Fracture In The Global Financial and Economic Architecture.
“An objective assessment of statutory corporations is likely to show that they are lacking in effective supervisory management and, in a worse-case scenario, are functioning as mini-departments of central Government,” Sir Frank said during the two-and-half-hour lecture.
He said that any statutory corporation run by Government should have a strong leader able to stamp his legacy on the entity and bemoaned the fact that over the years this was not always the case in Barbados.
“. . . There exists an urgent case for raising the bar pertaining to the appointment of boards and recruitment of management at all levels,” Sir Frank said.
“The model pertaining to the proposed creation of fiscal space through greater involvement of private/public sector partnerships should be carefully examined in order to avoid burdening Government with a moral hazard,” he added.
According to Sir Frank, there can also be no debate concerning the importance of an efficient public transport system to economic development.
“In the event that the service is privatized, the model should be required to demonstrate to the public how the clash between private and public interests would be resolved to minimize any loss in effectiveness due to the privatization of the public transport system,” he told the gathering.
The economist stressed that his comments should not be interpreted to mean he was against privatization, but that any such move should be weighed and balanced evenly to determine if it would place the country’s citizens at a distinct disadvantage.
Sir Frank noted that though the current Government was criticized in some quarters for the removal of bus fares for schoolchildren, he supported the initiative 100 per cent.
“Our future generations should not be exposed to the ZR culture,” he told listeners. “That culture has the ability to destroy the mindset of our schoolchildren,” he said. (BA)