7 November 2022
Between Monday 31 October and Friday 4 November, representatives from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association HQ (CPA) delivered training to Elected Members, Portfolio Directors, SHG officials and staff from the Legislative Council Office. The training was delivered as part of the Technical Assistance Programme between CPA and the St Helena Legislative Council, aimed at supporting, and improving capacity of the Legislative Council.
The CPA was founded in 1911 and is made up of over 180 legislatures (or Branches) divided up between nine geographic regions of the Commonwealth. It offers a comprehensive opportunity for Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to collaborate on issues of mutual interest and to share good practice.
Prior to the change to the new Ministerial form of government, the CPA supported the Legislative Council in comparing its practices to the CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures. During the assessment, a number of areas were identified for further development, including the need for ongoing training for elected members.
The CPA therefore designed a bespoke one week training course aimed at improving the knowledge and skills required of elected members and officials to undertake their duties.
The training was designed to provide a mix of professional development opportunities for those involved, with resulting institutional strengthening of St Helena’s parliamentary processes and procedures.
The training was delivered by Matthew Salik and Lydia Buchanan of the CPA, Connétable Michael Jackson of the Jersey States Assembly, and Waseemah Achmat, Committee Coordinator from the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.
It covered areas such as parliamentary conduct and behaviour, the Ministerial system, the role of committees, public inquiries and Ministerial question time.
St Helena has a strong relationship with the CPA and regularly engages with bi-lateral and multi-lateral CPA activities. Reflecting on the week, Elected Member Andrew Turner said:
“With all of us a year into our roles, the training has answered valuable questions about the issues we’ve come across in that time. I hope that we can now take this training forward and use it to help develop better systems and improve decision making. I want to extend the thanks of all councillors to the CPA for taking the time to come to the island and provide this in-depth training.”
Lydia Buchanan, Deputy Head of Programmes at the CPA, commented on the workshop:
“It was great to be back on Island seeing first hand the changes that have taken place in the Legislative Council. This week of training will go a long way in improving the standards of Ministerial oversight in St Helena. The CPA remains committed to St Helena and will continue to support the development of the Elected Members and Parliamentary staff.”
Acting Governor, Greg Gibson, hosted a reception at Plantation House on Thursday 3 November to thank the CPA staff for organising and delivering this valuable programme of activities.
Notes to editors:
The CPA exists to promote knowledge of the constitutional, legislative, economic, social and cultural aspects of parliamentary democracy, with particular reference to the countries of the Commonwealth.
The CPA collaborates with parliaments and other organisations, including the intergovernmental community, to achieve its statement of purpose. It brings parliamentarians and parliamentary staff together to exchange ideas among themselves and with experts in various fields, to identify benchmarks of good practices and new policy options they can adopt or adapt in the governance of their societies.
#StHelena #CPA CommonwealthParliamentaryAssociation
7 November 2022