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Keep your hands off operations, state corporations’ boards told

Governance experts have called on the Board of Directors of state-owned entities to clearly understand their role of oversight to add value to their organizations.

Institute of Certified Secretaries (ICS) Vice Chairman, FCS Joshua Wambua regretted that most Boards were not aware of their role in an organization, with a number working in the organization on full time basis hence hampering service delivery.

Speaking in Nakuru, when he led the team from the Institute in a Board of Governance Induction exercise for members of various national and private entities, Wambua noted that the Boards have to work hand in hand with the management who run the affairs of the organization.

He cautioned against the board taking over the day to day running of the organizations, saying that the law was clear on the roles of the two factions with the Board laying down the strategic direction, while the CEO and his team undertake the implementation.

Wambua urged the Board members to take time to understand their organizations, especially during handovers, and seek professional guidance on how to govern well.”You cannot lead an organization that you don’t know its purpose. This induction is meant to bring them to speed with their roles as they are custodians of the organization and are accountable for the affairs of the organization despite not working in the organization,” added Wambua.

He urged the members to work on succession plans, with the chairman expected to advise the appointing authority of the skill gaps and expertise required for seamless transition.

His sentiments were echoed by FCS Catherine Lusaka who decried greed and power struggles that were to blame for the gaps that existed in the proper governance of the entities.

“The government entities have slowly transitioned to the non-executive chairman model where the chair is different from the CEO. This is key in creating accountability. It therefore leaves the Boards to provide oversight and act on behalf of the stakeholders,” Lusaka said.

The participants drawn from private and public entities including the National Youth Service (NYS) and the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), lauded the move to have their boards inducted, noting its timeliness.

“As a member of the NYS Council, the training will help me gain more insights in my role for meaningful contribution to the public service,” noted Christine Odera.

The institute, that is a state-owned professional membership association conducts governance training and consultancy services on key areas among them ethics and integrity, transparency and disclosure, Board evaluations and review of governance structures among others.

By Anne Sabuni


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