TCI governance principles issued
Published on May 9, 2013
In accordance with the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2011 section 28 the Secretary of State has issued a Statement of Governance Principles. This will be published in the Gazette on Friday 10 May.
The text of the statement is below:
TCI: Statement of Governance Principles – April 2013
In the exercise of their functions, all organs of government in the Turks and Caicos Islands have a duty to give effect to the following principles.
1. 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.
2. The government of the Islands should involve the participation of the people. The Government shall serve and take account of the interests of all the people in the Islands. In particular, where consultation is mandated by law, the Governor is required to be assured that the consultation process undertaken by Government was accessible and meaningful before assenting to any outcome following consultation.
3. All ordinances, regulations, policies and actions must be fair, proportionate, and capable of being implemented impartially. In particular, decision making required by law shall be objective, and the granting of discretionary powers shall be limited to those that are necessary for good government.
4. All decisions of government, whether by Ministers, elected representatives or public officials, shall be lawful, rational, proportionate and procedurally fair.
5. The Government shall maintain and publish a broad and long-term perspective on the sustainable development of the Islands, and shall encourage lawful business and economic activity. The Governor may require the Cabinet to produce a development plan for the islands at regular intervals, not longer than every four years.
6. The Government shall take steps to protect the environment in accordance with the Constitution and shall promote the protection thereof.
7. The implementation of government policy by the TCI public service shall be in accordance with the rule of law and internationally accepted standards. The Government shall respect the integrity and impartiality of the Public Service, shall engage with officials only through appropriate channels, and the Public Service shall be protected from partisan interference.
8. All public appointments shall be based on merit, and all public officials shall be treated fairly. All Government and public service officers shall comply with the Code of Conduct for Persons in Public Life.
9. All government bodies shall, in order to build confidence in their operations and effectiveness, be accountable and transparent to the public.
10. Government processes, institutions and information shall be directly accessible and transparent to those concerned with them as provided by law, and enough information provided to understand and monitor them. The Government shall keep and use information in line with applicable law. Decision-makers shall provide written reasons for decisions and advise applicants of their procedural rights.
11. The Government shall cooperate with and support the effective operation and independence of the institutions protecting good governance established by the Constitution and other oversight, regulatory and investigatory institutions.
12. Subject to the Constitutional provisions permitting the preferential treatment of TC Islanders the Government shall act in good faith and a fair manner that is non-discriminatory, for the benefit of all people in the Islands 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.
13. The Government shall at all times respect the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the impartial administration of justice.
14. The Government shall comply with international obligations applicable to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
15. The Government shall administer Crown Land and other Government assets in a lawful, transparent and equitable manner.
16. The Government shall manage public finances according to established principles of value for money, affordability, propriety and regularity, and in the interests of securing the sustained long term prosperity of the people of the Islands. In doing so, the Government shall also observe the principles set out in any framework document on public financial management made in accordance with the Constitution.
17. The Government shall ensure that financial decisions are made within the context of a medium-term plan which aims to achieve and sustain an annual budget surplus. The Government shall take action to mitigate fiscal risks, and ensure that liabilities, including debts, are sustainable and fully taken into account when setting and implementing budgets.
18. The Government shall ensure that a budget is approved which secures the effective operation of Government and which is in accordance with all relevant laws and standards.