Are boards really necessary? | 15 January 2021
Recently the president announced that there are too many boards and duplication of work in the civil service ! This is apparently costing the country too much, money we can ill afford. He has plans to review the boards, their functions, necessity and the total cost to the nation. As chairman of the NSC (National Sports Council) board I would like to express my PERSONAL VIEW of the declaration.
There has always been a board at NSC but in order to promote better governance, the previous president, Danny Faure, decided to modify the membership of all the boards. He also created a few more boards bringing people from the private sector in order to get new ideas and remove the “axe to grind” behaviour that has existed for many years. I and my board at NSC are such example.
I have been in the chair for three years during which time there have been three different ministers and a change of CEO as we still await a revised Act, currently being fine tuned in the AG’s office. There have been four major international sporting events to date. These are the Commonwealth Games in Queensland, the IOIG in Mauritius, All African Games in Morocco and the Jeux de la Francophonie in Djibouti. There have been many other outings of the Seychelles team in Africa but these have been organised by different federations and associations. NSC’s role in the latter outings has been minimal, mainly in giving financial assistance.
At almost all of these major events special budgets have been made available and I have observed that certain officials have taken the opportunity to have an overseas holiday with certain family members at the government’s expense!!!! I am not in a position to pronounce what exactly took place in the past….
As chairman I attended the IOIG in Mauritius as ‘Chef de delegation’. This is a traditional procedure but I quietly observed that my role was unnecessary and insignificant. This became more apparent as I spent only half the time that I was supposed to spend because I developed a bad allergy and had to return home very early!! My absence had no effect on Team Seychelles …. I dare say only the CEO and one or two people knew of my departure.
It brings me to the questions : Why was such money spent on me? Do we need to send all these ‘chiefs’ who do absolutely nothing? That’s what we have always done in the past, I hear them say!!
Our board meets at least 6 times in the year and the government pay the members around R320,000 per year.
I feel that although this does not represent a lot of money it is all grist for the mill!!
I am of the opinion that, especially in this time of sacrifice and savings, NSC does not need a chairman and 8 other members.
All the work is done by the CEO anyway. At least temporarily the CEO, the PS for Sport, two or three of the existing directors should be enough to make the decisions that were covered by the board. These officials are already on the NSC and government payroll so there is no other outgoings!!
In conclusion I would say that other board chairmen have to make their own decision as to whether they can justify their existence to save Seychelles’ economy as the President requests from all of us ….……..