Mia Mottley exerted her prerogative as prime minister in the system of government we practice by making a few changes to her Cabinet last month. Two of the changes included the promotion of two chairmen of statutory boards Senator Lisa Cummins and Ian Gooding-Edghill.
The promotion of Ian Gooding-Edghill piqued the interest of some including the blogmaster. On paper he is/was responsible for the influential NIS and problem riddled Transport Board. We cannot be sure of the performance metric used to determine how he has “distinguished” himself in the dual role. However, as a concerned citizen the blogmaster must evaluate from an armchair distance. In a simple summary the blogmaster has not observed any gargantuan shift in the performance of the National Insurance Scheme if a most important metric is applied- the production of current audited financial statements. Audited financial statements are important because it provides a comfort level to the public through the eyes of a qualified external agency about the financial health of the Fund. The failing of successive governments to remedy the situation points to a systemic problem that should concern an ageing society.
The raging pandemic has serve to make a bad situation worse given the stress currently being exerted on the NIS and will for some time to come. Although Ian Gooding-Edghill has uttered mouthings in an attempt to assure the public the NIS is solvent. His voice cannot replace the independent assurance of the external auditor.
Two observations continue to puzzle the blogmaster. The avoidance of the normally loquacious prime minister Mottley when it comes to discussing any and everything under the sun. The recognition of Gooding-Edgehill given the current state of the NIS. Until we are told what measures have been implemented at the NIS under his tenure a sensible public must assume was business as usual.
Mottley and government may miss the irony that despite its focus on the economy – supported by an army of ministers and consultants – it has been the other ‘issues’ that have been clipping at the political heels.