Bellingham sets out expectations for TCI governments

| 19/06/2012

bellingham595.jpg(CNS): The UK’s overseas territories minister has set out a list of 18 governance principles for the interim administration in the Turks and Caicos to work towards between now and the electionson 9 November. On his recent visit to the islands, which have been under direct British rule sine 2009, Henry Bellingham said the new TCI constitution calls for all future administrations to agree their own statement of governance principles with the local House of Assembly and the UK Foreign Secretary within 28 days of taking office. From safeguarding the rights of the TCI people to balancing the budget, the list places high expectations on the islands' leaders.

“Minister Bellingham thought it extremely important that the people of the TCI know that the interim administration is working to the highest standards of Corporate Governance,” said the TCI governor Ric Todd. “He felt that it would be useful to allow the people to see the sorts of behaviours and ways of doing business that they should expect of their future governments too.”

Bellingham’s list said that all government action shall be taken in a manner designed to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms of every person in the Islands, as set out in the constitution, and that the government should involve the participation of the people.
All ordinances, regulations, policies and actions must be fair, proportionate, and capable of being implemented impartially and government must make sure decisions and acts of public officials are lawful, rational, proportionate and procedurally fair.

Bellingham also speaks about the need for government to protect the environment and long-term perspective on the sustainable development of the Islands, as well as encouraging lawful business activity.

In the wake of the fraud and corruption scandal that has emerged in TCI after the former premier Michael Misick was forced out of office and more recently into exile, Bellingham emphasised the rule of law.

“The Government shall ensure that the TCI Public Service implements policy in accordance with the rule of law and internationally accepted standards.  The Government shall respect the integrity and impartiality of the Public Service and the Public Service shall be protected from partisan interference," the principles state. “All public appointments shall be based on merit, and all public officials shall be treated fairly.  The Government shall ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct for Persons in Public Life.

“The government shall at all times respect the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the impartial administration of justice,” he said, adding that government must also administer crown land and public assets in a lawful, transparent and equitable manner.

He pointed to the need for government bodies to be accountable and transparent to the public and accessible to the media and that government processes, institutions and information shall also be accessible and transparent.

The government will be required to cooperate with constitutional institutions protecting good governance and other oversight, while respecting and preserving their independence. It is also required not to discriminate against people, irrespective of race, national or social origin, political or other opinion, colour, religion, language, creed, association with a national minority, property, sex, sexual orientation, birth or other status.

“Services shall be made available on an equal basis, free of preference based on family ties, political allegiance, friendship or personal gain," the minister’s principles state.

Calling on the current interim government and future governments to properly manage public finances, he said the administrations must mitigate fiscal risks, and ensure that liabilities, including debts, are sustainable and fully taken into account when setting and implementing budgets.

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  1. Libertarian says:

    The UK has created TCI in their own image. What is disturbing about this, is that during the process of it all, there was no democratic interaction between the people and the FCO, and there was no independent body to prevent possible corruption from the interim UK administration. The whole fiasco is without proper transparency and good governance. This whole thing was more about Michael Misick!  Misick could have been prosecuted in his home country in 2009 for corruption if they had the evidence to do so. There wasn't really no need for the UK to takeover the country and dissolve the people's democracy, cabinet, and preventing them from having general elections. It was definitely an abuse of power on their part and continues what so many historians refer to as British Colonialism. 

    They may dress it up and say it is all about answering complaints about "corruption" there… but to date, who are the complainants and where was the evidence to justify cancelling the people's elected cabinet and takeover the island-nation? With the Governor being a former M15 spy, one can not help but surmise that there is alot more going on than what the newspapers herald. 

    Many see the takeover, the dictatorship as a good thing for TCI and wish for the same thing to happen to Cayman. Besides, the reasoning goes like this – "the UK is cleaning up the country from corruption and establishing good governance once and for all in TCI… wish they could do the same thing here and save us from McKeeva Bush…" Many who reason like this, already have it formulated in their own minds who is one the wrong side and who is on the right side, and it is hard to educated them any further because their minds are set on how trustworthy the UK's FCO is, an organization that is in itself is broken one, because it lacks even accountability amongst its members. The aim of the FCO is to promote the UK interest. If you should visit their website, you will see nothing on promoting the interest of the people of the overseas territories… it is all about UK interest just like it was during the American Revolution, spearheaded by persons like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine.

    This whole colonial act against the TCI inhabitants was an act that clearly stated to them and the world:  "you are down there – we are up here… you can't think for yourself – we must think for you… and are natives that create – we are the takers," a message that undermines the people, a message that the UK should be ashame of what is happening in their backyard. Libertarian


  2. Anonymous also says:

    "He pointed to the need for government bodies to be accountable and transparent to the public and accessible to the media and that government processes, institutions and information shall also be accessible and transparent."

    This is absolutely ridiculous.  Certianly they will not ask the same of Cayman.  It could b\\mean the end of or "Fund Building Nation".  We could never get anyone to run for office.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wish the PPM had complied with those rules. They left the country in such a financial mess. And now that the UK has supposedly taken care of T&C and implemented the taxes they wanted to implement, they will now move on to the Cayman Islands. I hope that the Caymanians will now be satisfied when they start paying taxes. Goodbye businesses, good bye investors. Goodbye expats. The Caymanians will now get to see who was really footing the bills, when no money comes from foreign workers, foreign companies and we have to take taxes from our salaries, if we still have any jobs after the foreign owned companties leave and our financial industry as been destroyed and we have no port, so goodbye cruise tourism. We will certainly be nothing but the Island that time will forget. When we are sitting in poverty, telling our grand kids of “I remember when we were a wealty country and we had it all, everything we could want and need. we could have been the best little country in the world had we not let the Ezzard’s, the PPMers and the UK destroy us”.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cayman – Who yu daddy is?


  5. Anonymous says:

    These concepts seem so foreign. What planet are they from?

  6. Anonymous says:

    But that is not how its done in Cayman. People who come here need to respect our culture and adjust to the way we do things. We would rather follow our time honored Bible principles (cough cough) than man made consitutions and laws. Caymanfirst. Caymankind. 




  7. Anonymous says:

    We could use some of that here in Cayman.