OECS Ac­count­ing Pro­fes­sion mourns the Pass­ing of Sir Dwight Ven­ner

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants of the East­ern Caribbean is deeply sad­dened by the sud­den pass­ing of Sir Dwight Ven­ner, former gov­er­nor of the East­ern Caribbean Cen­tral Bank (ECCB) and former Di­rec­tor of Fi­nance and Plan­ning of Saint Lu­cia from 1981 to 1989.

Sir Dwight un­der­stood the role fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als could play in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and it was dur­ing his ten­ure as Di­rec­tor of Fi­nance and Plan­ning that Saint Lu­cia wit­nessed an un­prece­dented num­ber of Ac­count­ing grad­u­ates and Char­tered Ac­coun­tants gain em­ploy­ment in the pub­lic sec­tor. He also en­sured that their com­pen­sa­tion was in keep­ing with the crit­i­cal role that they played.

It is no se­cret that Sir Dwight was in­deed a vi­sion­ary – a very me­thod­i­cal one at that - and one who made things hap­pen. He was pas­sion­ate about the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the OECS in light of lim­ited re­sources, and con­stantly em­pha­sised that in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture and in­no­va­tion are cru­cial driv­ers of eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment.

He was also pas­sion­ate about struc­tural trans­for­ma­tion and its at­ten­dant re­al­lo­ca­tion of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity across the broad sec­tors of agri­cul­ture, man­u­fac­tur­ing and ser­vices. It was un­der his watch that a num­ber of sup­port­ing de­vel­op­ment in­sti­tu­tions were es­tab­lished. He sig­naled to the world that al­though we are small, we are ca­pa­ble of creat­ing in­sti­tu­tions that sup­port our eco­nomic growth agenda, and that we can run them suc­cess­fully.

He saw the need for al­ter­na­tive fi­nanc­ing meth­ods to fi­nance the in­vest­ment needs within the OECS and so on Oc­to­ber 19, 2001 the East­ern Caribbean Se­cu­ri­ties Mar­ket (ECSM) was launched. The launch of the ECSM gave rise to new is­sues, in par­tic­u­lar cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy.

He prof­fered: “There are three ar­eas and pro­fes­sions which will play a sig­nif­i­cant role in this new dis­pen­sa­tion, namely, the le­gal pro­fes­sion, the ac­count­ing pro­fes­sion and the pro­fes­sion of jour­nal­ism."

Sir Dwight main­tained that the ac­count­ing pro­fes­sion is cru­cial to the ac­cu­rate ren­der­ing and anal­y­sis of fi­nan­cial state­ments and recog­nised the need to train a cadre of ac­coun­tants who can ef­fec­tively ser­vice the cor­po­rate sec­tor. He urged the heads of gov­ern­ment of the OECS to­wards the sign­ing of the agree­ment es­tab­lish­ing the In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants of the East­ern Caribbean on Novem­ber 20, 2000, some­thing that ul­ti­mately led to the launch­ing of the In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants of the East­ern Caribbean (ICAEC) in Saint Lu­cia in 2004. The for­ma­tion of the In­sti­tute was in­tended to en­sure that ac­count­ing pro­fes­sion­als meet in­ter­na­tional stan­dards in the de­liv­ery of their ser­vices so as to in­stil in­vestor con­fi­dence in the level and qual­ity of fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion em­a­nat­ing from the OECS Re­gion.

Since its es­tab­lish­ment, Sir Dwight ren­dered un­wa­ver­ing sup­port to the ICAEC and, un­der his lead­er­ship, the ECCB fa­cil­i­tated a World Bank spon­sored project to strengthen the In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants of the East­ern Caribbean. This in­cluded the train­ing of some 81 char­tered ac­coun­tants in the de­liv­ery of In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Re­port­ing Stan­dards (IFRS) to other char­tered ac­coun­tants, and the es­tab­lish­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion of By­laws and Rules for the ICAEC.

He em­braced the in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and led by ex­am­ple in en­sur­ing that the ECCB be­came fully IFRS com­pli­ant ahead of its re­gional coun­ter­parts.

He also sup­ported the ac­count­ing pro­fes­sion at the re­gional level, hav­ing de­liv­ered key­note ad­dresses to the In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants of the East­ern Caribbean at the an­nual con­fer­ence on more than one oc­ca­sion. He was pleased about the progress made by the ICAEC since its es­tab­lish­ment but lamented the fact that Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines had not yet en­acted the ICAEC Agree­ment Act.

The ICAEC and the pro­fes­sion in the East­ern Caribbean have truly lost some­one who cham­pi­oned their cause and mourn his pass­ing. We ex­tend heart­felt con­do­lences to his fam­ily, his wife Lynda and his chil­dren, in­clud­ing his daugh­ter Zinga who is also a Cer­ti­fied Pub­lic Ac­coun­tant. We want you to know that the ac­count­ing pro­fes­sion across the OECS Re­gion shares the pain you feel at this time, and we pray that you re­ceive strength in know­ing that the sac­ri­fices that he and you, his fam­ily, made over the years are very much ap­pre­ci­ated by all in the OECS and the world at large who ben­e­fited from his ser­vice.

May he rest in eter­nal peace.

An­drea St Rose, Pres­i­dent of the In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants of the East­ern Caribbean, stated that the ICAEC has lost a true cham­pion with the pass­ing of Sir Dwight Ven­ner.

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