Transparency at The Castle becomes a human rights issue

The battle against secrecy within St Helena Government has been taken up by the island’s human rights co-ordinator. And emails have been sent to all of the island’s councillors asking whether they support transparency in the way they carry out their duties on behalf of the public.    The St Helena Freedom of Information Campaign has cast […]

Prison plans in hand as Castle sets out vital projects

Basic designs are being drawn up for moving St Helena’s “unfit” prison out of Jamestown. Planning advice is being sought, according to a spokesman for St Helena Government (SHG). First, a new unit for young people with challenging behaviour must be built at Half Tree Hollow to make way for the prison to move into […]

Jobs for island contractors after years of under-spending

Island businesses are being asked to help with a backlog of “challenging” work to improve infrastructure on St Helena – such as roads and buildings. It follows a rebuke in early 2012 by aid advisers over delays in spending several million pounds that was meant to be used for vital work. Executive councillors have accepted […]

‘We honour the spirit of freedom act’ says The Castle

St Helena Government says it is committed to open government, even though it has not adopted the UK’s Freedom of Information laws. It said: “We do honour the spirit and intent of the Act, but without adopting its cumbersome formality. This is simply a practical reality particular to the island. “Within our limited resources we […]

Civil service versus the can-do culture: a governor’s view

In the third extract of an address to the Friends of St Helena, former governor Andrew Gurr reflects on the island’s emerging private sector, optimism and – just briefly – education. Read part one of his recollections here, and find part two here. On the private sector You have the private-versus-public tension, which is always […]

Facebook page calls for more open government

A campaign page calling for greater transparency from St Helena Government has been launched on Facebook by island commentator John Turner. It follows comments by the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, who said that he favoured transparency but would not impose it on governments in the overseas territories. He said it was […]