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Governor to serve six-year term

Governor to serve six-year term
Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn (FILE)

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A governor of the Central Bank will in the future be appointed for a six-year term, rather than indefinitely, according to new proposed legislation to repeal the Central Bank of Barbados Act.

This is among adjustments contained in the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2020 debated in the House of Assembly yesterday, which Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn says are designed to strengthen the Central Bank’s governance and independence while maintaining accountability.

Straughn told the House the Bill also addressed the matter of removal of a Central Bank Governor and “aims to bring greater accountability of that process.” It also spells out the authority of the Governor as it relates to the power which a Minister of Finance may have in relation to the bank’s operations.

Section 77 of the proposed legislation says: “The board shall, with the approval of the minister, appoint a Governor by instrument in writing, for a period not exceeding six years and who shall be eligible for re-appointment.”

The proposed fixed tenure for a Central Bank Governor comes against a background of contentious issues related to the bank’s operation under former Governor Dr De Lisle Worrell.

Worrell, who headed the bank for close to eight years beginning in November 2009, was fired by by the Democratic Labour Party administration on February 24, 2017.

Straughn, who once worked at the Central Bank, told the House: “I find myself in this place bringing this Bill before this Chamber as part of a process where this Government, having come to office two years ago, found ourselves in a situation where the early institution that I learned economics, in the centre of what could have potentially destabilised the Barbadian way of life.” (GC)