Recurring corporate failures and the changing nature of the business environment have provoked renewed interest in and increased scrutiny of the role of the board of directors. The performance of the board of directors has emerged as a critical marker when examining the causes of inefficiencies in public entities and poor corporate governance practices, in a context in which corporate failure is attributed to the 'self-seeking' activities of too-powerful directors. In the majority of cases, public entity boards are occupied by senior government or military officials who do not possess the relevant qualifications, nor the appropriate technical or commercial skills and experience. The same civil servants regularly sit on too many boards thus weakening their capacity to learn the intricacies of individual businesses as well as to attend and monitor corporate events. The evaluation of board performance is further complicated by the demand on public entities to accomplish many and contradictory objectives.