facebook.com/SaveOurSBS        twitter.com/SaveOurSBS

SBS merit appointments may be tested

Five years ago, when Joseph Skrzynski and Elleni Bereded-Samuel were appointed to the SBS Board by the previous government and subsequent legislation introduced that determined an appointments process, it was said to remove the politics from Board appointments in favour of a merit-based system in selecting and appointing Directors to the SBS and ABC Boards. Before that, Directors were hired and fired as the Minister saw fit.

Under Labor’s merit system, which Tony Abbott’s government inherited, interested persons are to be interviewed by a panel that is said to be at ‘arms length from the government’ — although the government of the day, selects the panel. The role of the panel is to create a short list from which the Minister may then choose a person to fill a vacancy on either the ABC or SBS Board. However, the Labor created merit system also allows the Minster to reject the recommendations of the panel by writing to the Prime Minister and the Parliament must be advised within 15 days.

Mr Skrzynski’s and Ms Bereded-Samuel’s term on the SBS Board is due to expire on 14 March and the Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is now bound under the merit-based system of appointments to deal with that. The Minister may act on advice from the selection panel and reappoint or replace one or both. However should Mr Turnbull wish to take a different path, he may write directly to the Prime Minister. The exact process has never been tested and the Minister’s Office was unable to state which path the Minister wishes to take or if the imminent vacancies will be advertised. Mr Turnbull was unavailable for comment.

Comments are closed.