May 18, 2010

Letters to editor - Attend to Conflict

by Tony Kiesanowski

The 'Press' Saturday May 15th

I read with interest the report on ECAN commissioner Bedford's assessment that he has no conflict of interest between his roles as commissioner and chairman of Enterprise North Canterbury (May 14).

Well established corporate governance rules, endorsed by the institute of Directors, make it clear that a conflict of interest exists where it is either actual or perceived. The later is certainly the case here.

As an experienced chair, Dame Margaret Bazely should take charge of this. All the commissioners should be tabling full details of their other business and community appointments to her. She has the required judgement and experience to have the necessary quiet word in the ear when required. Commissioner Bedford should be top of her list.

As the Auditor General's report, last December, on the proven conflict of interest by certain ECAN councillors, shows, self assessment in these matters is invariably rose tinted.

Tony Kiesanowski