Posted by / Tuesday 29 November 2016 / No comments

How Public Corporations are controlled

Definition of Public corporation
A Public Corporation is an entity that has been established by an Act of Parliament with the sole aim of providing services to the public at a reasonably priced rate. Some of these services include, but is not limited to, water, electricity, postal and telecommunication, public broadcast.

Parliamentary Control
Public Corporations are established by Acts of Parliament and therefore the corporations so established cannot step outside the parent act that establishes them. In other words they cannot do things that the law prohibits them from doing. That serves as a limiting factor for the corporations.

Control by the Executive
Every Public Corporation is placed under a particular ministry and the minister responsible for that ministry takes supervisory responsibility for that corporation. The Boards of Directors are appointed by the Executive and they can dissolve it. The minister has the power to appoint, promote, transfer and dismiss. This serves as a check on the public corporations.

Financial Control
With the consultation of the Board of the Corporation, the government can call for the auditing of the accounts of the corporation. They can also establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate any suspected malfeasance in the operations of the Public Corporation.

Judicial Control
Another means by which the Public Corporations can be controlled is through the powers of the Judiciary. An action of any Public Corporation which violates the rights of an individual can be declared null and void by the courts if it is brought before their attention.

Control by the public
The public can also serve as a form of control over the activities of a Public Corporation. For example, the public can boycott their products if it falls below the standard expected. On the other hand, if they engage in activities inimical to the benefits of the people, a back lash from the public can compel them to fall in line.

Quality control
There are statutory organizations set up to ensure that goods meet a certain national minimum standard. The Food and Drugs Board is one. Public Corporations can be whipped to conform to standards if they are not doing so.

1. In which five ways are Public Corporations controlled? [15 marks]

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