FCO wants good governance

| 10/12/2012

simmonds (235x300).jpg(CNS): The British government has said that it expects democratic and accountable government in its territories and that it is committed to adopting and implementing the highest international standards to combat corruption and bribery. Making a commitment to help territories to reform their public services and improve expertise, the UK has said it wants to see the territories adopt and implement the seven principles of public life established by the UK’s own integrity committee. In the communiqué, which came out of the recent Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meeting in London, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is once again pushing the good governance agenda hard.

Although Premier McKeeva Bush has been railing against bureaucracy following instructions from the UK on adopting the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR) and shutting down the talks with China Harbour Engineering Company on the cruise port facilities, the FCO is not letting up on the pressure regarding the need to follow process.

Talking about the necessity for well managed public finances, the agreement reached between the territories and the UK also focuses on integrity.

“We believe in transparency over public finances and the need to strengthen assurances, as necessary, that public spending delivers overall value for money. We also believe in open, transparent and competitive procurement processes which are operated and applied in accordance with international standards. We are committed to building and preserving those institutions required to promote and protect good governance, while respecting and preserving their independence," the communiqué states.

The UK and the territories have agreed to work together on a list of priorities, including the need to put in place and implement codes of practice for ministers, parliamentarians and public servants.

The list also includes the needs: to strengthen public financial management and ensure it is undertaken transparently and is open to external scrutiny; to strengthen public sector procurement as necessary in line with good international practice; for each territory to adopt a framework for public finances that demonstrates a commitment to limits on borrowing; to build reserves; build a strong and sustainable revenue base; ensure transparency and accountability and effective budgeting and management of expenditure; and to monitor and take action to mitigate fiscal risks and ensure that liabilities are sustainable.

Attached to the communique are the 'Seven Principles of Public Life', which were established by the UK Committee on Standards in Public Life for all who serve the public in any way, and the FCO is pressing the territories to adopt the principles. Given the perceptions of government corruption, it remains to be seen how the UK will measure whether or not territory governments are adhering to the principles.

Politicians and all public servants in Cayman and the UK's fifteen other territories will now have to adhere to the principles, which include integrity, selflessness, accountability, openness and honesty among others.

“Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends,” the principles state. “Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.”

See communiqué in full below.

Category: Politics

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The idea that Government should  be honest and open, and act in the best interests of the taxpayers whose money they administer, is obviously  shocking to the incumbents. They're so far gone, that the moral  constraints that guide the majority of us are referred to as 'Red Tape.'  I suppose the Ten Commandments handed to Moses, and referred to by Jesus Christ during his 'Sermon on the Mount', constitute mere 'Heavenly Red Tape.'  The stunted morals of the UDP leadership leach their corrupting influence across and down through society. They  spark down to the lowest levels and corrupt upwards from the bottom, giving rise to criminality and and a disrespect for the law. The legacy of this government is like Mount Trashmore: its toxic effects will take years to eradiate, and the damage done  left to historians to evaluate .

  2. Anonymous says:

    FCO should not want good governance they should make it happen! they have the last say at the end of the day. even our politicians travels should have to be approved.some people finding it hard to buy food while they stay at 4 & 5 star hotels . doing what ?

  3. B. Onneste says:

    What??????  They're going to do something about corruption?  I'll be waiting to see their first bit of action.  Unfortunately, it's one of those things that I'll have to see before I believe it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Politician should not be able to award any contracts, grant any concessions, exchange or sell any crown property, sell any government assetts, approve any major development that will have a significant change on the country, change any immigration laws, issue status grants by cabinet without the approval of the UK government.  These are the changes  that need oversight by the UK to keep corruption at a minimal and to foster good governance within these islands.  

  5. Anonymous says:

    True

    I always say to my children

    NEVER EVER EVER EVER FORGET 2 SIDES TO 1 STORY

  6. Georgie SS Hirst says:

    Speaking of good governance i wonder if the FCO found those documents which have conveniently disappeared from their archives about past activities in the colonies what is the use of having good adminstrations set up, if you have no record of its activities. If you don't know your past how can you determine what your future is?????

  7. Anonymous says:

    Nonsense. Words, words, and more words. Corruption in Cayman is increasing exponentially. You have lost control FCO to the point that you must now be viewed as complicit. It seems there is hardly an official here that would recognize the rule of law if it bit them in the arse, let alone understand the concept.

  8. bart simpson says:

    "HIP HIP HURRAH" for the FCO in stressing to these elected officials that good governance is all about  prudent  money management,  frugality, openness and integrity among others. So I hope that those who aspire to be our representatives in the next election will take heed.  And to all those who have been the  recipients of some of the misused funds of past Governments, I say, MESSICK is just the beginning.

  9. SANDFLY says:

    Good Governance won't happen with the two political parties. UDP is shady, undemocratic and waste our money. PPM is stupid, slow, has no backbone and has hack politicians. We can't move our country forward with these clowns. We must go the independent course just to survive.

    • Anonymous says:

      If we were independent now,
      Mac would have his Home Guard army firmly established (with assistance from China), term limits abolished, and probably control the election process. God help us if independence ever happens.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sandfly, while it is true that both parties have their faults you cannot turn back the hands of time and simply undo parties. The bottom line is that both these parties will have candidates returned to the L.A. Without question, voting for independents will split the vote in such a way that favours the UDP as the party with the greater number of MLAs. If that is your purpose then go right ahead but please do not blame PPM or anyone else when it is done.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Fool as a fly, keep your head buried in the sand.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hello Pot. This is Kettle…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Uk wants good goverance; Caymanians want good governance, but its government seems to think all that is "bureaucratic harrassment."  What a mess!  However, with the bridle firmly in place, it looks like the UK will be able to keep us out of the bushes, even if that means walking the beach because the road is gone; "horse-traded" to pay a few overdue mortgage payments (which are probably overdue again) and a dump in BT!

  12. EXPOSE THE RED HERRINGS says:

    When will they stop using GOOD GOVERNANCE as a RED HERRING to mislead the territories; especially the CAYMAN ISLANDS to distract the public from the actual and covert issues??? 

    We constantly see the comments being made here to glorify the british takeover of TCI, as if there is no corruption on their side too. We as the People have to always be mindful that although there are bad apples on this rock, there are alot of bad ones in the UK too… we should never forget this

  13. Truth Hurts says:

    The only people who will complain about this are those who currently profit from their position. I see nothing wrong with the UK's stance.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Protecting democracy should include allowing more of the those who live in Cayman to vote.  There is no need to have a different test for enfranchisement that the Crown Dependencies.  At any rate, giving the vote to British citizens and BOT citizens would reduce the scope for corruption (by making the electorate bigger, before anyone thinks this was reference to relative corruption).

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't think expanding the electorate will make a difference. It is the quality of people we have voted in that counts.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are not Caymanian you should not be allowed to vote in Cayman .  Really what do you people want ? You come here wanting  the best of  everything this country has to offer excluding our debt, you like to talk about Caymanian entitlement this is one  that should be exclusive, or atleast until non Caymanians pay the government enhancement fee.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Crown Dependencies make their rules and we make ours. Both are consistent with international human rights standards.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh no!,!