A government press release asks community spirited individuals who are interested in playing a part in public life to consider taking up a public appointment. The Council of Ministers and Treasury will soon be appointing members to a number of Statutory Boards and Bodies whose activities have a major impact on everyday life in the Isle of Man.
These appointments will offer people an opportunity to play their part in the operation and delivery of essential services in diverse areas such as energy and water supply, financial services regulation, and consumer rights. People from all backgrounds and walks of life are urged to apply in order to provide ideas and advice from different perspectives. Details are given in an explanatory booklet "Appointment of Members of Statutory Boards and Bodies". Five-year appointments are currently being advertised for the following organisations:
• Manx Electricity Authority
• Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority
• Isle of Man Post Office
• Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading
• Financial Supervision Commission
• Insurance and Pensions Authority
• Road Transport Licensing Committee
• Public Sector Pensions Authority
• Civil Service Commission
Over two full pages in the booklet are devoted to "Conflicts of Interests", warning candidates that:
"Even a perceived conflict of interest on the part of a Board Member can be extremely damaging to the body’s reputation and it is therefore essential that these are declared and explored in the same way as an actual conflict would be."
Yet right in the middle of the above list is the Financial Supervision Commission about which we wrote in an earlier (July 2011) article "Tynwald lacks perception" . In July a recommendation of the Select Committee on KSF was rejected by Tynwald in order to continue to allow bank directors to also be members of the Financial Services Commission. Some Tynwald members failed to see the connection!
Lets hope that when a new appointee to the Board of the FSC is confirmed that there has been a clear acceptance by CoMin and Treasury of the requirement to recognise even a perceived conflict of interest can be harmful.
The new Government needs to act responsibly to inspire public confidence in its ability see us prosper in the future.
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