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You would expect the Chief Executive to have the technical background, and Ashton Lewis has been with the MEA for 35+ years, to the best of my knowledge.

 

A non-executive chairman needs to take a more detached view, and, as has been said before, sort out the finances. This is Eddie's field, and he has done an excellent job.

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Surely the position of MEA chairman should go to someone with experience of the industry ?

 

Not necessarily - it's usually the chief executive who brings the operational management background. The chairman's role in a governmental board is essentially to provide overview and scrutiny with regard to the use of public funds.

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Such as?

 

I suppose this all goes to show exactly what a politician is, or should be.

 

One year you can be the Minister for Health, the following Department of Tourism, or looking after the Fishes and Trees or something.

 

That is exactly the point Steve. We have had occasions when a man with no business experience other than that of running a taxi compnay has been in charge of the DHSS. Clearly he would be limited as to what input he was able to make to running that department. Regarding MEA and Eddie Teare I would suggest the same argument applies. If anything has been done at MEA which is in anyway different to what they were doing a week before his arrival the credit belongs to the Chief executive ..not to the Chairman. Hence my question .. what has he done ?

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He has no experience of what is a very complex industry. Surely the position of MEA chairman should go to someone with experience of the industry ?

 

Yes but the Chairman is a political post (currently given the past problems). Unless an expert in power generation stands for MHK what else do you suggest? You are never going to get a totally industry qualified politically appointed Chairman but like any good non-exec he should be able to understand business, accounting practices, and have good business instincts which puts Eddie in front.

 

Its the MD who runs the company, he needs the industry knowledge, the Chairmans role is totally different political or not.

 

Maybe your suggesting Proffitt should stand as MHK and be guaranteed to become the MEA's political chairman due to his vast industry experience?

Edited by Juan Kerr

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He has no experience of what is a very complex industry. Surely the position of MEA chairman should go to someone with experience of the industry ?

 

Yes but the Chairman is a political post. Unless an expert in power generation stands for MHK what else do you suggest? You are never going to get a totally industry qualified Chairman but like any good non-exec he should be able to understand business, accounting practices, and have good business instincts which puts Eddie in front.

 

Its the MD who runs the company, he needs the industry knowledge, the Chairmans role is totally different.

 

Maybe your suggesting Proffitt should stand as MHK and be guaranteed to become the MEA's political chairman due to his vast industry experience?

 

First off the post of Chairman at MEA has never been a political post until the arrival of Mr Teare. There is nothing in The Electricity Act which requires a politician to be on the board. On the contrary, my understanding is the opposite was the intention when the bill was passed. In addition MEA first chairman had experience of the industry.

It beggars belief anyone would think a political appointment suitable for the energy industry.

It beggars belief that anyone should even think a utility such as MEA should be in public ownership.

There is no scope for influencing policy because all utilities linked in any way to UK systems are bound by codes of practice on the one hand and cut throat markets on the other which severely constrain the ability of any politician to make or even suggest policy decisions. If I have read PKF properly, MEA is linked to the UK power system and is linked to the UK and Irish gas systems. Where is the logic in appointing a politician?

Regarding your second point about the MD ..that is precisely the point I was making.

I certainly havent suggested Mr Proffitt should be chairman neither would I.

I still dont have an answer to my question. What exactly do you believe Mr Teare has done at MEA ?

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I thought his brief was to bring a strong hand to the board to help them steer through the rocky days following the debacle. Almost a corporate governance role rather than one running the company. As others have said, that is the job of the CEO or MD. Analogous to the roles of Chief Minister and Speaker really.

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I agree Gladys.

 

He was sent in, from above (hence parachuted), as a clean and hopefully safe pair of hand, unsullied by governemt involvement to try and get the non technical running of the MEA, its cororate governance, under control and to report politically no doubt on what he found.

 

He seems to have done that and more and seems to have tough views on those respoonsible for questionnable actions paying the price.

 

He has then come up against what Peter Karran would call the corruption. There is an apparent crime on high but it is brushed under the carpet. No wonder he said what he did. He goes up in my estimation. Afraid Mr Shimmin and Mr Attorney go down.

 

Its like saying to Mrs C, three yeras ago, pay back the grant, no prosecution. I'm glad that the DTL minister and Chief Exec were firm on the AG over that.

 

Transparency means just that. They all stood on transparency tickets, the first issue and some of them are still protecting their chums

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No problem with that one he is amongst the brighter of our MHKs.However, I still dont see how he has been in a position to make a contribution at MEA.

He has no experience of what is a very complex industry. Surely the position of MEA chairman should go to someone with experience of the industry ?

 

Yes but look what the people with 'experience' did!

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Transparency means just that. They all stood on transparency tickets, the first issue and some of them are still protecting their chums

If that is the case, some of their constituent voters should be writing to them and reminding them of that stance - otherwise their standing was a sham.

 

Politicians need to be accountable to voters and for their 'manifestos'.

 

Generalising, as far as I am concerned, any elected MHK who says something in their manifesto, and does not at least try to attempt to stick to that has no honour and integrity and is nothing more than a liar.

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We have had occasions when a man with no business experience other than that of running a taxi compnay has been in charge of the DHSS. Clearly he would be limited as to what input he was able to make to running that department. Regarding MEA and Eddie Teare I would suggest the same argument applies. If anything has been done at MEA which is in anyway different to what they were doing a week before his arrival the credit belongs to the Chief executive ..not to the Chairman. Hence my question .. what has he done ?

 

I don't think anyone can argue against having a political member as Chairman this time round given the lack of reporting back to government over the original loans etc. Ignoring a lack of industry expertise Eddie gives a direct line back into treasury so they know exactly what is going on and he is certainly familiar with banking and accountancy practices which are the real rote of the problems being experienced. Its not up to him to run the damn place, just to oversee that no more monumental f**k ups are being made, to get to the bottom of what went on, and to try to limit the damage to consumers as much as he can (fair price increases etc).

 

No doubt the inevitable "but what has he done?" post will again arise from this.

 

What he has done, I suppose, is not pissed another couple of hundred million away which makes him ok as far as I'm concerned.

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Can you imagine the outcry from shareholders if someone in M&S or BP - for example - said ok we're going to let Uncle Norman have a go as CEO for 5 years - he's always wanted to try his hand and 956 people voted for him?

 

How quickly they forget the poor voter - no deals done, my arse.

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You normally only get to be Chair or minister of one body, a ministry or a statutory board like Water, FSC, MEA, IPA, Civil Service Commission. Eddie Teare was parachuted in to MEA recently to sort it out. He is now DHSS minister, in charge of the largest spending/employing government department In that case he will now presumably be replaced/step down. Who else are they going to parachute in?

 

not always one or the other: here's an example

 

the Minister for Home Affairs is usually the Chair of the Communications Commission.

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not always one or the other: here's an example

 

the Minister for Home Affairs is usually the Chair of the Communications Commission.

Is that the same this time around?

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Surely the main point about the process is that, in the absence of a mandate independent from MHKs and LegCo (for instance the mandate could potentially come from the Chief Minister being directly elected or from being a leader of a political party) then the Chief Minister is forced to select a cabinet on the basis of maintaining all the necessary relations with other MHKs (and LegCo!).

 

So, in this case, he has to respect the fact that Rodan got 9, Shimmin 8 and Cannon 8 in the first round, so fully 25 members of Tynwald were comfortable making a preference without his name being in the frame. He then has to consider all the dynamics and relationships to maintain support and get decisions through the next period as he establishes himself as Chief Minister.

 

This puts him in an almost impossible position when it comes to trying to pick the best person for each post. The political implications of appointing or not appointing somebody are potentially huge.

 

Given that the Chief Minister is tasked with making the key decisions affecting the island and driving it forward over the next period - he should be given more power and resources to do his job and choose the best people for his cabinet.

 

And that requires that he has a stronger mandate, such as direct election.

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