The General Board consisted of representatives both elected by the freeborn citizens of Mesa as a whole, and appointed by the major corporations based on the system on the basis of taxes paid by each corporation to the government. Only one-third of the General Board's membership consisted of elective representatives, while the remaining two-thirds were appointed by the corporations; this gave the corporations virtual control of the Mesan government.
As the Mesa System's largest corporation, Manpower Incorporated had the largest number of corporate representatives to the board, and combined with those of other corporations nominally independent but actually controlled by Manpower, such as the Jessyk Combine and probably Mesa Pharmaceuticals, the slaver corporation controlled up to thirty percent of the General Board. (CS2)
The General Board had the power to elect the Chief Executive Officer of the system. The CEO had to be a member of the General Board, and due to the power they held, the corporations practically controlled the appointment.
The Board was also responsible for approving the budget proposals sent by the CEO, and though these proposals were usually confirmed without much debate, a rejection by the board of a budget presented by the CEO amounted to a vote of no confidence, which required the CEO to resign from office. (CS2)