Thursday 27 July 2017

Ordinary people have a place among the experts on boards

The input of the 'non-experts' in the National Consumer Agency was invaluable, writes Celia Larkin

BASH me if you want, but non-experts do have a place on State boards. I notoriously served on the board of the recently amalgamated National Consumer Agency (NCA).

My fellow board members were a motley crew. Heading it up was an exceedingly gentlemanly chairperson. He was aided and abetted by, among others, an expert economist, a legal eagle, the director of the National Adult Literacy Agency, the chairperson of the Competition Authority, an empathetic community activist with an astute political antenna, an earnest singleton who was a stickler for corporate governance, retailers, wholesalers, services providers and services receivers and, of course, the most notable 'expert' himself: Eddie Hobbs. The officials, or public servants, were whipped into line by the ultra-conservatively clad, imperturbable, posture-perfect, focused and driven CEO.

Some media commentators have bashed the agency and belittled the work it has done, but today a totally different consumer environment exists, thanks to the National Consumer Agency.

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