New transparency act may discourage persons from serving on boards
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has suggested that persons may be deterred from serving on statutory boards with the introduction of the new Register of Interests (ROI) act.
Under the existing legislation, only members of the House of Assembly are required to declare their financial interests into the register. But the newly proposed ROA act now requires other groups such as statutory board members to do the same.
Premier Wheatley said these other groups may require a debate on whether it would be right for them to register their interests. He further said this is something that will have to be discussed as a community and among elected representatives.
“It (having to register their interests) may greatly discourage persons from wanting to serve on boards and you may not get the type of persons you want on the boards,“ Premier Wheatley said.
“We have to look at best practices elsewhere in the world and see what it is exactly we are trying to achieve,” he added.
In the meantime, the Premier highlighted the fact that there are many persons in the community that have been calling for certain types of information to be made public.
He further stated that he has had overwhelming feedback from the public that they want transparency in this particular manner.
He added that persons who are in particular areas of responsibility, especially those who are elected, are almost judged by a different standard as it pertains to transparency and integrity in public life.
Premier Wheatley joked that he knew some persons were happy just to have elected officials exposed in this way.
“There’s no particular reason why elected officials – if we believe that that’s the correct thing – would have to register interests and not have at least persons who are senior, senior public servants be able to register as well,“ he added.