BANK BOARD SAGA
By IAN M. KAUKUI
AN interim board the Government appointed as part of the push to revive the Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI) will be there for only six months.
That’s according to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury Mckinnie Dentana.
Dentana explained this in response to concerns expressed by Opposition leader Mathew Wale over the appointment of some of the board members.
Wale, in particular, has questioned the Government over the appointment of the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister Robson Djokovic.
While welcoming the government’s seriousness to revive DBSI, Wale stressed that DBSI is a bank and so will be heavily regulated by banking laws.
“In this respect therefore, it is important people who are appointed to manage DBSI’s affairs are qualified in the area of banking,” Wale said.
“For all we know Djokovic is the nephew of the prime minister and he has been implicated in a lot of controversial issues raised in the past which also link the prime minister,” he added.
“More so, he has not demonstrated qualifications in banking or any related areas for that matter.
“It therefore makes one wonders whether he has been appointed only because of his connections to the prime minister.
“If this is so, then it does not reflect well on the prime minister and the government’s efforts.”
However, Dentana explained under the DBSI Act, 2018, section 49, the term of the interim board is only for six months.
“The main role of the interim board is to guide the preparation for the launching of the bank later this year,” Dentana said.
“On this regards, the interim board is to ensure policy objectives of the government are met before the launching,” he added.
“This is why it is important to have two members of the interim board from the Office of the Prime Minister.
“With ICSI (Investment Corporation of Solomon Islands), as the government partner or shareholding entity, according to section 32 of the Act, two ICSI representatives were appointed.
“It is also important to note the interim board will not make any lending decision or operational decision of the bank.
“In addition to the above core functions, one of the interim board’s major roles is to appoint the bank’s CEO.
“After the launching or prior to end the on the six months interim period, the process to recruit the board proper will be carried out according to section 11 of the DBSI Act,” Dentana stated.
Meanwhile, Wale said the appointment of the interim board was brought to his attention after it was published in the local media.
He added although the interim board is only temporary, it is in the public interest that it starts off on a good footing.
“In order for this revitalised institute to work, although it is only an interim board, it must be independent from political influences and the right people are appointed,” Wale said.
The interim board members are:
a. Gane Alva Simbe
b. Trevor Manemahaga
c. Robson Tana Djokovic
d. Andrew Manepora’a
e. John Osmond Muria (Jnr)