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 […]

Welcome to St Helena – a tax dodger’s paradise?

What’s the difference between St Helena and a billionaire’s financial playground? Nothing, to judge by a jibe from the British Labour MP Denis MacShane. In a Parliamentary Question on the recent overseas territories White Paper, he asked: “Can the Minister confirm that there are two banks, mutual funds or tax-dodging offshore companies for every citizen […]

St Helena Online joins a campaign for transparency

Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s not good for democracy. St Helena’s elected councillors are making decisions that will set the course of the island’s future, but we are rarely told what they will talk about in advance. That means people cannot voice their own concerns, and possibly raise problems that the officials in The […]

UK offers to help reduce offenders’ risk to island society

St Helena and other Overseas Territories are being offered help to deal with criminals who need specialist treatment to manage their behaviour – including sex offenders. The UK government’s White Paper says smaller territories often lack facilities to treat people who need such help, though it does not say whether this is the case for […]

‘What’s being done to raise standards?’ asks White Paper critic

The UK’s White Paper on Overseas Territories has failed to set out how the British government will help St Helena reach higher standards, according to one critic. In a letter to the St Helena Independent, “London Reader” says: “The White Paper shows that the UK Government is not interested in helping St Helena introduce cost-effective, […]

‘Transparency and scrutiny lead to public trust’ – White Paper

Proper scrutiny is vital to good government, says the UK’s 2012 White Paper on the country’s Overseas Territories. “This important work helps strengthen the people’s trust in government,” it says, “and encourages greater public participation in decision making.” It also sets out a list of seven principles of public life that are now followed in […]

White Paper sets out need for openness in government

St Helena and other far-flung British islands may “have proud traditions of democracy,” but the UK government says it will keep a close watch on standards of governance. “Public concerns about capacity, transparency and corruption need to be addressed,” says the 2012 White Paper on Overseas Territories. This comment refers mainly to problems in the […]

UK White Paper seeks stronger bond with Overseas Territories

The UK government says a new strategy paper “renews and strengthens Britain’s relationship with the Overseas Territories.”   However, much of the material in the paper – which runs to over 100 pages, and was due out last month – will already be familiar to people who follow affairs in Britain’s far-flung islands. For instance, […]