Corporate governance vital
The government probably means well in proposing changes to the composition of State corporation boards.
Reducing the number of directors, for instance, is a sensible cost-cutting move that will save taxpayers significant amounts of money currently being gobbled up in directors’ allowances.
The decision to align representation on certain boards with the government’s strategic goals also makes a lot of sense.
A Bill seeking to review the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) Act will, for instance, see the chief executives of the University Funding Board, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority and the college placement agency, KUCCPS, join the student loans agency’s governing body.
But Parliament needs to address concerns that the government is trying to throw the baby out with the bath water.
At the Helb, for example, the Federation of Kenya Employers and the Kenya Bankers Association are to lose their board seats, denying the agency valuable industry advice and linkages it needs to manage its lending and recovery of loans.
It further reinforces the view that the government is keen to eliminate independent opinion from these boards. Parliament should reject any changes whose effect will be to weaken corporate governance structures at the State corporations.