Video: MP Walter Roban On Govt Board Equality

December 2, 2015

MP Walter Roban said the PLP “support any effort to widen the participation of Bermudian citizens in the government process”, while noting that the “process started under” the PLP, as members of the public could go to the Cabinet Office and fill out aform.

Opening Up Of Process To Serve On Boards

Last week the Cabinet Office said that Government has opened the process for residents wanting to serve on Government boards and committees, saying that this represents one of the first 2015 Throne Speech pledges which has been “promised and delivered.”

The relevant section of the Throne Speech [PDF] said: “The Government will also open up the process for citizens wanting to serve on government boards and committees, providing, for the first time, the opportunity to formally apply for positions.

“The Government will use the extension of this opportunity to achieve equitable gender representation in this important area of public service.

“Expression of interest forms will be made available on the Cabinet Office’s website before the end of this month and can be completed and submitted electronically. Government expects this initiative will see boards and committees draw from a larger talent pool than has been the case in the past.

“It is to be followed in 2016 by a functional review of government boards to determine how their productivity and effectiveness can be increased and decide which Boards are no longer required.”

Walter Roban’s Comments

Speaking outside the House on Friday, Mr Roban said that the PLP “support any effort to widen the participation of Bermudian citizens in the government process.

“We’ve always been committed to that; that is what we fulfilled during our time in administration, and we support any efforts to do that, but I think it’s important that some points be made clear.

“There were some inaccuracies, we feel, in the Premier’s statement about this being the first time that the opportunity for the general public to apply to serve on government boards – that is not true.

“That process started under the Progressive Labour Party. There was a process where anyone, any member of the public, could go to the Cabinet office and fill out a form that was deposited at the Cabinet Office.”

“For anyone who wished to serve on a board, they could go down there, fill it out, and it would be submitted to the appropriate Ministry once completed and their interests would be considered,” Mr Roban continued.

“Essentially the same process that the Premier is continuing, but we support any effort to widen that, if that is believed they are going to do that.

“The specific mention was made of ensuring that more women were on the boards. Now, we support that as well, but the Premier did not, on the floor of the House or in his statement, clarify what the percentage at the moment is of female participation on government boards.

“We would have hoped that having made that a hallmark of his statement, he could’ve given us some clarity as to what the percentage is. We do hope that the Premier can make that declaration publicly, because I think that’s important for people to assess really where we are when it comes to gender equality and diversity on the boards.

“We look forward to seeing that, but we feel that the Premier came up short today with not clarifying some of those points, and certainly one of his major points of this being the first time, is totally inaccurate from our view,” concluded Mr Roban.

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Comments (4)

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  1. serengeti says:

    Hilarious. When they like an idea, it’s always “a process started under the PLP”. Which means they thought about the idea briefly, but never actually did a darn thing about it.

  2. cup of tea anyone? says:

    too busy sippin’ green tea



  3. Lois Frederick says:

    Women make up 35% of boards. I heard the Premier say it in an interview on the same day as it was mentioned in the House. This opening up of Boards is a good thing. If indeed it was previously open to anyone filling a form out at the Caninet Office as Roban stated, it certainly was never promoted anywhere ever. In other words you would have to have known or have been told by someone in the know. This new initiative is actively encouraging the Public to make an application and is being promoted clearly on the government website.That is a significant difference.

  4. 32n64w says:

    Is this the same PLP that ejected sitting Board Members after they formed the Government in 1998?