Private sector breakfast seminar to focus on corporate governance

In an attempt to inspire directors and senior executives to lead their organisations with a progressive approach to corporate governance, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute, will be hosting a breakfast seminar today.

At the launch of the event yesterday afternoon, executive member of the PSC, Ramesh Dookhoo pointed out that the first in the planned series of three breakfast seminars will be held today at 7:00 am. Dookhoo also noted that so far they were about 42 participants, coming from both the private sector and state-owned corporations.

“The attendance looks reasonable. There are a number of sponsors coming on board and you can come (today) and register at the door,” Dookhoo said, at the press conference.

Present along with him were Vice-Chair of the PSC, Desmond Sears, CEO of the Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute, Denise Deonarine and the keynote speaker, Alison Dillion.

Sears noted that the theme of the seminar, ‘The Role of the Director in Good Governance, Leading with a Progressive Perspective’, is in line with the PSC’s commitment to addressing national issues and to influencing policies which promote socioeconomic growth and development within the country.

According to Deonarine, improving corporate governance is important because often times it is mistaken for compliance.

“By definition, corporate governance relates to the decision making process of an organisation. But what we are seeing in relation to the trends currently, is corporate governance is evolving at a rapid rate and at times you can be confused with compliance, and persons believe that you practise good corporate governance simply by complying with rules and regulations, but the reality is, that is not a substantial aspect,” Deonarine said.

She further explained that there have been instances where large corporations and companies have complied with the rules but were not practising good corporate governance which has resulted in a public loss of confidence.

“Corporate governance is of paramount importance to any commercial landscape and specifically when we look at the role of the director in driving organisations to practise good corporate governance,” she added.

Deonarine noted that the Institute was founded in 2012, after a few persons within the private sector in Trinidad and Tobago declared that they could either make a choice to continue to identify issues or be part of the solution. The organisation, which is self-funded through membership, was formed to assist other organisations and entities to improve their corporate governance.

Deonarine also stated that even though they are based in Trinidad and Tobago, their focus is on the entire Caribbean and all the member states, as the name suggests.

Dillon also made brief remarks which echoed Deonarine’s sentiments and stated that even though it is often associated with laws and regulations, they are hoping that they can discuss the practical aspect of good corporate governance.

“We are hoping that we could have the discussion on practical aspects of doing good governance of organisations and how they could be more successful. Obvious the goal is to have success and sustainable business particularly from the private sector which is often a large untapped resource,” she said, while noting that they are hoping to develop cultures within the organisation to set up various standards to address how they can make compliance work effectively.

“It’s not sufficient to tick boxes and say the regulations are being complied with or the code of conduct. It’s seeing how you can put in place a culture in your organisation that lives and breathes that code,” she added.

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