Stedson Francis MLA

Response to a letter on government transparency, September 2012.

1: Do you agree agendas and reports of government committees, including ExCo and LegCo, should be published on the SHG website, in advance of meetings? And that minutes should also be published?

Answer: With the exception of the closed  Agenda Members of the  public and Media are able to sit in on the  open session  and I am not aware of   popular calls from the public in making this information available and  matters arising in the closed session would in any case be inappropriate to make available  to the public .As for Formal Legco  the Order paper  is available before the meeting and issued to the media and hansards are available form the Clerk of Councils

2. Do you agree ExCo meetings should be open to the public and media, except where this would, for instance, compromise commercial sensitivity or the confidentiality of individuals?

Answer: YES  This happens now.

3: Other UK overseas territories have adopted Freedom of Information legislation, to improve governance and serve voters better. Do you think St Helena should now discuss the possibility of introducing a Freedom of Information Ordinance?

Answer:   Council operates to “Council Committees (Rules of Procedures )Order 2010. Which provides for good governance  suited to culture and circumstances of the Island,

Whilst I support open and transparency  I also  feel  with our culture and living in a close  family Community our  Community Rules and procedures are adequate,  for good governance and family values . I wouldnet  want to see family and friends split over issues as was the case back in the  Seventies.

 

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