Four (4) CEOs/Directors have been missing in TCI for a Long Time.
Two for a Year and the Other Two for Seven (7) Months.
Why can’t we Find Them?
The role of a CEO is e very critical to the success of any organization. Due to this fact, I cannot comprehend why these positions at some of the statutory bodies in TCI have been vacant for such a long time.
The four CEOs/Directors that are missing are for National Health Insurance Board, National Insurance Board, Invest TCI and TCI Ports Authority. National Health Insurance Board has ben without a CEO since June 2017. National Insurance Board has been without a Director/CEO since November 2017. Invest TCI has been without a CEO since June 2017. TCI Ports Authority has been without a CEO since November 2017.
National Health Insurance Board
The National Health Insurance Board is one of the most topical Boards in TCI in that it was even recommended that the Board should be absorbed into the ministry. However, TCIG has stated it will not do so. The Govt provides more than $29million a year to National Health Insurance Board and this alone requires a Head to manage these funds. I recalled where certain individuals blamed management for the budget over-run for NHIP and so some “wise” folks got rid of the CEO and the CFO at the same time and have the medical director act as the CEO while carrying out his role as medical director. There was no transition or hand over. One would think if management was indeed the issue then there would be an urgent need to recruit a CEO but no it has been a year now. The organization is in a crisis mode right now without a CEO, without an IT director, without a CFO, without a HR manager, without an internal auditor. My understanding is that the acting CEO will be leaving soon as well and so the organization will be without a medical director soon. I sat on the interview panel for the financial controller and I thought the person that was chosen was a great choice but yet it was not approved. The National Health Insurance Board cannot be a priority otherwise these positions would have been occupied. National Health Insurance needs a CEO and CFO now.
National Insurance Board
The National Insurance Board maintains the main source of our retirement funds. I know the acting CEO is doing a great job but she also has her other many roles to do as well. In fact, in the past there used to one Director/CEO and two deputy directors of National Insurance Board. However, now there is just one Director and one Deputy Director.
Invest TCI was created to promote local and international investment in the Turks and Caicos Islands. A local candidate was selected as the CEO but was not offered the same salary as the predecessor so the local candidate stood his ground and did not accept the position. We now have someone in the position who has been acting for a year. What is the hold up?
TCI Ports Authority
TCI Ports Authority is another critical body in TCI with responsibility for our ports which is our main source of revenue through customs duties. The Deputy is performing his role as well as acting Director. This cannot in any shape or form be effective.
All of these statutory bodies play an integral part in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Even though there are individuals acting in the capacities as CEOs, these individuals also have their roles to do and so they are performing dual roles. This cannot be effective for any organization as it becomes a burden for the individual acting and as a result the individual can become “burnout. Furthermore, if the individual is performing dual roles for such a long time then some of the functions of one of the roles will be neglected. Perhaps if the individual was acting for a month or two, then it may be reasonable but for almost a year, this is unacceptable.
With the exception of TCI Ports Authority, the posts for CEO/Directors of the other three statutory bodies have been advertised now at least on three different occasions. What does this mean? Are we not getting enough applicants? Are there particular individuals that certain members of Government want to apply for the job? Is TCIG looking for the perfect candidate? Does this mean that there is nounanimous agreement by cabinet?
Members of Board of the Statutory Bodies along with a HR Committee normally interview the candidates for CE0 position and then advises the Minister responsible for the Board about the decision. The minister in turns takes the matter to Cabinet for further approval. The Ordinance clearly states the Minister may appoint the CEO. Why does the entire cabinet have to be involved in the selection of the CEO for the Statutory Bodies? Why do you have a Board and an HR Committee?I must admit someone pointed out to me that Minster means Minister in Cabinet and so it requires approval from cabinet. I just don’t get it. Our leaders should be leaders not administrators. There are so many other issues in our country that need to be addressed. Our elected officials should not be spending too much energy and time on the selection of a CEO or CFO of a Statutory Body. Trust the Board’s decision. Select the right people to be on the Board. Empower the Board to make the decision and then the Minister ratifies it.
- If there are challenges in finding the ideal candidate, then appoint a temporary CEO similar to what was done when TCIG appointed Floyd Seymour as the interim CEO of National Health. This would give the current acting person a relief so that they can perform their tasks.
- Retain the previous post holder in the position until they are able to find a replacement.
- Given that most of the individuals were acting for a year, perhaps TCIG should confirm that acting individual in the CEO post. Stop wasting time re-advertising the jobs.
- If cabinet cannot agree to the candidate that the Board agrees to, then have the applicants submit their resumes directly to Cabinet and have Cabinet be the interview panel and select their chosen cabinet.
- I recommend that some of the Board members resign if their recommendations for the CEO posts cannot be accepted after three attempts.
Stop wasting money and time re-advertising the CEO roles. You may not be able to recruit the perfect candidate as we all have our weaknesses. Every four years, the electorate of Turks and Caicos give politicians (some with experience and some without experience)opportunity every four years and yet some of our experienced people are not given an opportunity to become CEOs. The other non-elected members of cabinet were also given an opportunity for the roles they are currently in. The organizations cannot continue to function properly without a CEO confirmed in the post. Make a decision. Everyone deserves a chance. After all, the chosen candidate will be on a probationary period. Please let the Boards find these missing CEOs and ratify their decisions.