‘Involve Parly in approval, dismissal of public entities officials’

THE Public Accounts Parliamentary Portfolio Committee has recommended that Parliament must be actively involved in the approval and dismissal of board members and chief executive officers of public entities, as part of its oversight role to ensure transparency and accountability.

David Chapfika, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance last Thursday tabled a report on the Second Reading Stage of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill, where he said the committee also recommends that there should be harmonisation of fees and remuneration of boards and executives of public entities.

He told the National Assembly that Zimbabweans in different parts of the country who participated in public hearings on the Bill welcomed it, saying it will assist to curb graft at State enterprises and parastatals (SEPs) that have been perennially loss making.

“Parliament, through its relevant Portfolio Committee, should be actively involved in the approval and dismissal of board members and CEOs of public entities, and the relevant Portfolio Committees should also be appraised on the public entities’ strategic plans to enhance its oversight role on the public entities and ensure transparency and accountability,” read the Finance Portfolio Committee report.

“The Committee has noted the huge differences in fees and remunerations on the different boards and executives of public entities and recommends for the harmonisation of such fees and remuneration.”

The committee also recommended that the roles of the State Enterprises Regulatory Authority and the Corporate Governance Unit (CGU) to be set up by the Bill should be rationalised, so that they work from the same offices to save costs.

“The committee also recommends the harmonisation of the Local Government Act and the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill once it becomes law,” they said.

On appointment of board members of public entities, Parliament recommended that they must be appointed in consultation with relevant Portfolio Committees of Parliament, while members of the public who spoke during the public hearings on the Bill suggested that interviews of boards and CEOs of State entities must be public because these are the people that will manage public assets.

“The members of the public welcomed the provision to set term limits on the tenure of office for board members to one term of four years.

Although there is provision for reappointment for another four-year term, members of the public submitted that board members should serve for one term only because Zimbabwe is endowed with people with capacity,” the committee report said.

On term limits for CEOs it was recommended that should be limited by performance contracts and age rather than term limits.

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