Board recruitment framework reaches Cabinet

By Hilary Mare

THE Public Enterprises Board of Directors Recruitment and Appointment Guideline framework has been finalised and is currently at Cabinet level for deliberation, public enterprises minister, Leon Jooste revealed last week.

Jooste further highlighted that once passed, it will solidify and give direction for the professional functioning of boards of directors including with regard to structure, style, process, relationships and roles.

“The performance of a Public Enterprise (PE) depends to a large extent on the capabilities and good performance of its board of directors. The skills, expertise and qualifications of individual directors influence the overall ability and performance of the board.  Benchmark studies indicate that in most developed and developing countries the importance is recognised of a clearly defined recruitment and appointment process for PE boards as this will professionalise the corporate governance of PEs while reducing the opportunities for nepotism and favouritism, fraud and corruption,” Jooste said adding that the PE Board of Directors Recruitment and Appointment Guideline has the aspect of the e-Recruitment Database System as a tool for efficiency.

He went on to say that his ministry shall have an E-Recruitment Portal to enhance parts of the recruitment process and improve the speed by which boards can be matched with current vacancies.

Confidente understands that the E-Recruitment Portal will be linked to an automised central database which will hold all relevant information about serving and aspirant board members.

Key data to be captured include: expiry date of board appointments, vacancies on boards, individual board member performance information, qualifications and relevant experience, number of board memberships, etc.

“The database shall be configured to the selection criteria for boards, namely education, skills and relevant experience, board experience, and gender and age (to ensure gender balance and participation of the youth in corporate governance in the PE sector). Advertisement of board of directors vacancies publicly shall be ongoing as the need arises.

The Ministry of Public Enterprises shall have a dedicated employee/s to manage and update the E-Recruitment database.  An important feature of the database will be the automatic bi-annual confirmation of candidates’ personal data and availability to serve on PE boards.  Regular audits by reputable companies specialised in recruitment will be performed to safeguard the integrity of the E-Recruitment database,” Jooste said.

In his April 2018 budget motivation address in Parliament, Jooste informed Parliament that the ministry had developed a database for potential Board members. Furthermore, that this database will be translated into an e-recruitment database, that will be utilised to provide information and advertise vacant board of directors’ positions.

At the time of the announcement, the database was standing at a staggering number of 600 individuals and it kept growing continuously.

Following that statement in Parliament in 2020, the E- Recruitment System procurement was finalised and a consultant was appointed.

“I am pleased to say that the consultancy worked hand in glove with the MPE team and have created a remarkable efficient and user friendly web-based E-Recruitment Database System in that same year,” Jooste remarked.