Constitutional Amendment for Ministerial Government Approved by Privy Council

The Governor’s Office welcomes the news that the amendments to the Constitution of St Helena for a Ministerial government, as endorsed by Legislative Council, has completed its approval process in the UK.   The amendments are planned to come into effect after the forthcoming St Helena general election before the new Legislative Council meets for the first time.

The Privy Council met last week to consider the Order in Council to amend the Constitution and the Order was made at that meeting. Today, 28 July, that Order in Council was laid before Parliament in London which is the final step in the process in the UK. The next step will be for a Proclamation to be gazetted on St Helena specifying the date on which the amendments will come into effect.

HE Governor Rushbrook commented:

“This is an historic moment for St Helena and a great opportunity for a next elected government. Today marks the culmination of over 18 months of detailed examination and debate across the community on how we want to govern ourselves in the future.

“Back in 2019, Professor Sarkin identified the public wanted clearer individual responsibility for making political decisions, greater political accountability for delivering services and reforms, and a governance system that progressed its business more swiftly. The change to a Ministerial system provides the opportunity for the next elected government to achieve all three.”

The St Helena Government administration and Governor’s Office will continue its work to prepare for a Ministerial government. A programme of planning and preparatory work has been underway for the last two months. Progress has been reported on recently in three published updates. Attention will now turn to formal Legislative Council on Friday, 30 July, to consider a Bill amending the current Ordinance that fixes the remuneration and allowances for Legislative Council in anticipation of the new Ministerial system.  Legislative Council will also consider updated rules and procedures for Council to meet the change to the new Ministerial system. A draft new Ministerial Code for use by Ministers in Executive Council is also nearing completion and will be considered by the next Legislative Council after the general election. Training for newly elected Councillors immediately after the general election will be put in place to give them the best start possible working under a Ministerial system.

Explanatory information on the Ministerial system was published in a booklet before the consultative poll in March. A copy can be found at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Governance-Reform-Consultative-Poll-Information-Booklet.pdf

Governor’s Office, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
28 July 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh