RESPONSIBILITIES SHOULD BE SCALED BACK
Islands Constitutional Commission has recommended scaling back the Governor’s
responsibilities. In its report the Commission recommended that responsibility
for the public service be transferred to the Chief Minister and responsibility
for internal security be transferred to a National Security Council.
Commissioners further recommended that the Governor’s reserve powers be
eliminated, and that his authority to formulate policy be limited to those areas
for which he has responsibility.
will be the subject of a special debate in Legislative Council before it is
forwarded to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Enactment of recommended
changes will depend on the outcome of future negotiations between Government and
the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and will require adoption by the UK Privy
Council. In addition, many of the recommended changes to the Territory’s
constitution would require concurrent amendments to other laws.
the Commission’s recommendations, the National Security Council (NSC) would
comprise the Governor, Chief Minister and one other Minister. The NSC would be
responsible for formulating policies in relation to internal security, the
functioning of the police force, and would approve high-level police
appointments. The Commissioner of Police would continue to be responsible for
day-to-day police operations.
Commissioners said that the NSC would allow for shared responsibility between
Ministers and the Governor in the area of internal security. “It is the
Commission’s view that there should be a sharing of responsibilities for
internal security, so that elected representatives can have a direct say in the
decision making and policy making in relation to internal security and the
police force,” the report states.
to the public service, Commissioners recommended that executive authority to
hire, fire, and discipline public servants be vested in the Public Service
Commission, which would report to the Chief Minister.
Commissioners said there seemed to be broad public support for this change.
“Throughout the course of public meetings in the Territory, most persons stated
that the responsibility for constituting officers within the public service
should no longer be reposed with the Governor, but should be reposed in a
Minister, subject to checks and balances,” the report states.
Commission did not recommend changes to the Governor’s responsibility for
administration of the courts or defense. In regard to external affairs, the
Commission recommended that the local government be responsible for regional
affairs and external affairs as they relate to financial services.
St. C. Farara, Q.C., chaired the nine-member Constitutional Commission, the
first ever to be undertaken locally and not as a declaration of Her Majesty’s
Government. Other members were Messrs. Elihu Rhymer, Edison O’Neal, Vance Lewis,
Audley Maduro, Carvin Malone, Stuart Donovan, Mrs. Persia Stoutt, and Mrs. JoAnn
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