transparency

Secrecy critics form new Executive Council

The five politicians who polled most votes in the 2013 St Helena general election have been named as the island’s new executive councillors. Each will chair one of the five main committees of the government. They are: Lawson Henry (Economic Development Committee), Christine Scipio o’Dean (Education), Cyril George (Environment and Natural Resources), Ian Rummery (Health …

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Open government is not islands’ top priority, says minister

Freedom of information is not a top priority for overstretched governments in the British overseas territories, MPs in London have been told. Foreign Minister Mark Simmonds also admitted that no territories had been given UK support to end the kind of secretive practices seen on St Helena.  That could change if new councillors act on a …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Constitution flaw left leaders challenging themselves

A flaw in St Helena’s constitution means senior councillors can legally be responsible for challenging their own decisions. Last year, two “respected” executive councillors stepped down from the island’s public accounts committee, set up to monitor decision-making, when the flaw was highlighted. Now changes have been proposed to prevent executive council members from serving on the body. The ban is …

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