Anti-secrecy law ‘only months away’, predicts John

Work has begun in earnest on ending the entrenched culture of secrecy within St Helena Government – but one councillor has questioned whether it should be a priority. Open government became a key issue in the island’s July 2013 general election, a year after the launch of a campaign on St Helena Online and the […]

Governor and politicians top ‘not trusted’ list

Politicians have been named as the least trusted people on St Helena, along with journalists. But the governor has come second in a list of the most distrusted people on the island – and that fact was left out of a summary of the findings that was issued to media by the government. Governor Mark […]

UK’s top lawyer could help end St Helena secrecy

Britain’s Attorney General could be asked to help St Helena and other UK overseas territories draw up laws on freedom of information. Dr Peter Hayes, the diplomat in charge of overseas territories, raised the possibility during a committee hearing in Westminster. But he also referred to a set of rights, drawn up by the United […]

UK sends message on need for open government

The British government says it will be looking for transparency in the way St Helena spends millions of pounds it receives in aid funding. Its latest update on British overseas territories says: “More than ever, in the current financial climate, we have a duty to show that we are achieving value for money in everything we […]

Human rights group pushes transparency cause

A leaflet supporting the fight against secrecy in St Helena Government is being published by the island’s human rights body. It calls for a Freedom of Information (FoI) law to be introduced, just as the topic looks set to become an election issue. So far only two candidates have confirmed they will stand, but one […]

Secrecy leaves islands at risk of corruption, warns RSPB

A paragraph in this story has been toned down in response to a comment made privately to St Helena Online. The paragraph, about information being made available to legislative councillors, was capable of mis-interpretation.  Secretive decision-making by governments in St Helena and other British overseas territories leaves them vulnerable to corruption, MPs in London have […]

MP ‘shocked’ by tales of environmental failings

A Member of Parliament has reacted with dismay to allegations about the British government’s performance on protecting the environment of UK overseas territories. Caroline Lucas, the country’s only Green Party MP, said the government’s systems were “constitutionally not working.” She said: “The more I hear, the more shocking the situation seems to be.” She expressed […]

Dear Councillor: do you want open government on St Helena?

The people elected to serve the people of St Helena have been asked to say whether they want to bring democracy on the island out into the open.  Governor Mark Capes has reported that councillors want to see more government information made public. But so far, that has not brought about the kind of transparency […]

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 […]

Campaigning MP investigates open government on St Helena

The British politician who led scrutiny of alleged corrupt journalism in London has turned his attention to St Helena. Tom Watson was contacted by the St Helena Freedom of Information Campaign because of complaints about the openness of government on the island. Meetings of the executive council are frequently held behind closed doors, and agendas, reports and […]