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Corporate Governance is Not Working, it is Just Window Dressing


Corporate Governance is Not Working, it is Just Window Dressing


July 14, 2024


Recent findings by SBTNO, the government’s advisor on corporate governance, reveal a startling issue: over 30% of seats on supervisory boards in state-listed organizations are vacant. Articles in the Amigoe on July 9 and the AD on July 10 highlight these findings, indicating that these organizations are not being governed effectively. This is worse than I had imagined.

How is it possible that after twenty years of attending expensive masterclasses on corporate governance, the state of governance is deteriorating instead of improving? A colleague once suggested there is a negative correlation between attending these classes and effective governance, implying that people might be honing their skills in bad governance. I initially considered this sarcasm, but recent events have made me reconsider. It reminds me of the statement of my mentor, Prof. in ‘t Veld, in his inauguration speech, accepting his appointment to the chair of Good Corporate Governance at the University of the Netherlands Antilles. He states that the Corporate Governance Code is a prostate for amputating decency and integrity. He is right!

This week, the Minister of VVRP stated that neither he nor Parliament has any say when the state-owned refinery partners with a private company. He argued that this is what corporate governance entails, referencing a recent presentation by a professor of corporate governance in Parliament. This highlights a significant disconnect and a misuse of corporate governance principles.

Perhaps the most crucial lessons in these masterclasses have been missed. To address these critical gaps, the 2024 edition in September must not be forgotten.

Miguel Goede

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