|Governance principles enacted for interim government||| Print ||
|Written by Richard Greenemail@example.com|
|Wednesday, 20 June 2012 20:45|
With little fanfare, the U.K. has enacted Governance Principles for the conduct of the interim administration until a newly elected government takes control of the Turks and Caicos Islands after November elections.
The revised Constitution requires the newly elected government to debate and propose its own Governance Principles within four weeks of taking power, but the final decision will come from the U.K. Secretary of State.
The 18 principles that now apply to the interim government are broad and cover most aspects of government, including requirements such as adherence to the Constitution and the country’s laws, protection of the public service from partisan influence, and ensuring an independent judiciary.
But the most important aspect of having such principles is that the Constitution gives the governor broad powers to overrule decisions by elected government and public officials if he believes they have not conformed to the principles.
Many have complained that the TCI got into trouble that led to a U.K. takeover of government in 2009 and the launch of criminal investigations against former ministers because the governor and the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office did not exercise proper oversight.
When the principles for the elected government are approved, the Constitution gives the governor the power to overrule the advice of Cabinet and refuse to assent to legislation — including appropriation bills — if he thinks they violate the principles.
Similarly, the Constitution allows the governor to propose and enact legislation against the wishes of Cabinet if he believes the legislation ensures compliance with the principles.
In appointments to public offices other than permanent secretaries, the governor has to follow the advice of the Public Service Commission unless he believes that advice goes against the principles, according to the Constitution.
The Constitution empowers the premier and the House of Assembly to ask the U.K. Secretary of State to amend the Governance Principles, but the secretary has the final say over this and application of all the principles.
Statement of Governance Principles for the Interim Administration
In the exercise of their functions, all organs of government in the Turks and Caicos Islands have a duty to give effect to the following principles.
1. All Government action shall be taken in a manner designed to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms of every person in the Islands, as set out in the Constitution.
2. The government of the Islands should involve the participation of the people. The Government shall serve and take account of the interests of all the people in the Islands. In particular, any process of consultation shall be accessible and meaningful.
3. All ordinances, regulations, policies and actions must be fair, proportionate, and capable of being implemented impartially. In particular, decision-making required by law shall be objective, and the granting of discretionary powers shall be limited to those that are necessary for good government.
4. The Government shall ensure that its decisions and acts and those of public officials are lawful, rational, proportionate and procedurally fair.
5. The Government shall maintain a broad and long-term perspective on the sustainable development of the Islands, and shall encourage lawful business and economic activity.
6. The Government shall take steps to protect the environment in accordance with the Constitution, and shall promote the protection thereof.
7. The Government shall ensure that the TCI Public Service implements policy in accordance with the rule of law and internationally accepted standards. The Government shall respect the integrity and impartiality of the Public Service and the Public Service shall be protected from partisan interference.
8. All public appointments shall be based on merit, and all public officials shall be treated fairly. The Government shall ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct for Persons in Public Life.
9. All government bodies shall, in order to build confidence in their operations and effectiveness, be accountable and transparent to the public and accessible to the media.
10. Government processes, institutions and information shall be directly accessible and transparent to those concerned with them as provided by law, and enough information provided to understand and monitor them. The Government shall keep and use information in line with applicable law. Decision-makers shall provide written reasons for decisions and advise applicants of their procedural rights.
11. The Government shall act in an accountable manner, especially in relation to those who will be affected by its decisions and actions. The Government shall cooperate with and support the work of constitutional institutions protecting good governance and other oversight, regulatory and investigatory institutions, while respecting and preserving their independence.
12. The Government shall act in good faith and a fair manner that is non-discriminatory, for the benefit of all people in the Islands irrespective of race, national or social origin, political or other opinion, colour, religion, language, creed, association with a national minority, property, sex, sexual orientation, birth or other status. Services shall be made available on an equal basis, free of preference based on family ties, political allegiance, friendship or personal gain.
13. The Government shall at all times respect the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the impartial administration of justice.
14. The Government shall ensure compliance with international obligations applicable to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
15. The Government shall administer Crown Land and other Government assets in a lawful, transparent and equitable manner.
16. The Government shall manage public finances according to established principles of value for money, affordability, propriety and regularity and in the interests of securing the sustained long term prosperity of the people of the Islands. In doing so, the Government shall also observe the principles set out in any framework document on public financial management made in accordance with the Constitution.
17. The Government shall ensure that financial decisions are made within the context of a medium-term plan which aims to achieve and sustain an annual budget surplus. The Government shall take action to mitigate fiscal risks, and ensure that liabilities, including debts, are sustainable and fully taken into account when setting and implementing budgets.
18. The Government shall ensure that a budget is approved which secures the effective operation of Government and which is in accordance with all relevant laws and standards.
Entertainment: Your Island Guide
Top things to do in April
Top things to do in April 1. From Golfing to More...
Valentine’s Day Cup 2013 model sailboat races
The Middle Caicos Sailboat Association will once again present the annual model sailboat races at More...
Lime and Tourist Board announce weekly Fish Fry
The Turks & Caicos Tourist Board & LIME partner with Cultural Fish Fry The Turks & Caicos Tourist More...
Turks & Caicos Reef Fun to host dazzling evening
The Turks and Caicos Reef Fund will host its 2nd Annual Cocktail Party Reception on Jan. 26 at the More...
Fashion Glam at Regent Palms
The Regent Palms is inviting everyone to an evening of fashion and glamour at their event being More...
Latest Community News
Cholera Clinical Management Training Held in the TCI
Healthcare professionals from the TCI Health Services were trained in the Clinical Management of More...
Illegal Haitian immigrants Intercepted
Illegal Haitian Immigrants Intercepted, to the Repatriated According to the Ministry of Border More...
Ministry of Health Reminding public about sanitation
Health surveillance teams attached to the Ministry of Health and Human Services (MOHHS) have More...
Scholarship applications now being accepted
The Ministry of Education has announced that they are now accepting applications for scholarships More...
History and traditions stay alive at the 13th annual boat races in Middle Caicos
The 2013 Valentines Day Cup welcomed many fun loving residents and tourists to Middle Caicos’ More...