Island ‘still being run as a colony’, says Wass

The governor’s role as ‘head of state’ on an island of just 4,000 people is getting in the way of running the island properly, the Wass Inquiry has found.

“The picture that emerged to the inquiry panel was that St Helena was still being run as a colony,” its report says, “with the Governor acting as the Queen’s representative and delegating the day-to-day responsibility of managing the island to others.”

But with the population of a small English village, “there is no justification for a disconnect between the governor and the practical issues of day-to-day management.

His two roles mean he hands jobs to himself – and fails to carry them out.

“The Governor, as head of state, effectively delegates tasks to himself as head of government. It is essential that as head of government he follows up delegated tasks to ensure that they are fulfilled.”

He had ignored warnings about management of the island and “delegated certain tasks as if that were the end of his responsibility.”

“The august title belies the need for a shirt-sleeved manager,” says the report.

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