British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Dec 02, 2021

Institutional knowledge not lost in axing all board members — Premier

Institutional knowledge not lost in axing all board members — Premier

Premier Andrew Fahie has argued that statutory boards do not lose their institutional knowledge in cases where all members have been asked to resign; as his administration did after winning the February 2019 General Election.

According to the Premier, this institutional knowledge rests with public officers, who also serve on these boards as ex officio members. The Fahie administration’s position on the matter is that all board members, except those who are ex-officio, should be made to resign whenever a new government gets elected.

The Premier argued that in any well-oiled machine of government, the ex officio officer is seen as the ‘linkage’ between any old board members and new board members.

“They will have all the institutional knowledge of what took place, and they are the ones now to furnish it to the new members,” Premier Fahie said during an appearance before the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Tuesday.

He continued: “I would say, in retrospect, we would agree to leave on a few more persons. But if you ask me to explain this in terms of, ‘if you remove everyone, that’s the end of the institutional knowledge, I cannot agree with that, theoretically, because there’s a continuum inside of the public service.”

Former board chairman held opposing view

Last week, former Chairman of the Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF) Board, Edward Childs, appeared before the COI with a completely different view on the matter.

According to Childs, it was impractical to sack all members simultaneously, as this would remove a significant amount of the board’s institutional knowledge and collective expertise in one fell swoop.

“If I had been asked to step down, I would have no issue with that at all. But I think we just felt that it was wrong for everybody to step down at the same time,” Childs stated when he appeared before the COI.


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