Bibi Shadick is in a situation of conflict of interest

Dear Editor,

With regard the recent outburst from Ms Bibi Shadick, she opposes the text of the Broadcasting Amendments of 2017 and in so doing she makes one fundamental point which I wish to address. She claims, inter alia, that her appointment to the GNBA was delayed by about two months to allow the current Board to complete the amendments in her absence.

The recommendations for amendments were completed prior to the life of the current Board but due to the inquiry, it was agreed that all such matters be placed on hold to give the post-inquiry Board an opportunity to review it. The members of the current Board are sufficiently independent people with the ability to make informed judgements; the law does not cater for minority reports save and except an accurate record in the Minutes of the deliberations. As such, a decision of the Board is just that, and it is highly unethical for one to disclaim a decision of the Board of which he/she is a member. Further, Ms Shadick should know that the GNBA is not responsible for making laws, and it can only advise or recommend measures to the government; therefore it is not a plausible explanation for any delays in the receipt of her instrument of appointment.

Those recommendations (up to the point where they were inherited by the current Board) were being drafted over a period of more than 6 months, and the PPP had ample time to name its nominee to the Board. It did not, and as such they failed to represent their constituencies and have now morphed into Chicken Licken who shouted throughout the farm that the sky is falling.

I did not know that the Leader of the Opposition had recommended Ms Bibi Shadick to sit on the current GNBA Board. Had the President or Prime Minister sought my opinion I would have said in no uncertain terms that the President should have refused to appoint Ms Shadick and ask that another name be submitted. The simple reason is that there is severe conflict of interest with respect to her candidacy, so much so that it violates the Broadcasting Act 2011. Ms Shadick served as chairman of the regulatory agency (GNBA), and mere weeks after serving in that capacity she represented a client (Freedom Radio) as an administrator. Mere moments after serving as a representative of the said client she has been appointed to sit as a Regulator.

The lines of her relationship between the Regulator and the regulated are sufficiently blurred to create doubts about her judgement. The Broadcasting Act deems such conflict as misconduct, and in light of this fact it is my settled determination that the President should forthwith revoke the appointment of Ms Shadick.

Yours faithfully,

Leonard Craig

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