UK wants high standards
(CNS): The new white paper on the Overseas Territories published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office says that people living in the territories have a right “to expect the same high standards of governance as in the UK”, pointing to human rights, the rule of law and integrity in public life. The document also states that the British government expects high quality public financial management and financial services regulation to build resilient economies. “The UK is determined to tackle corruption in all its forms,” the new document warns as the Foreign Secretary makes a commitment to work closely with the territories with a long-term programme of support for the public services.
In the paper, which was based on a broad public consultation period with all the territories and stakeholders, the foreign secretary sets out what will likely be a more hands-on approach to the territories, where the UK will share expertise from across the entire government and not just from the FCO in order to raise standards.
“The Government has responsibilities towards the people of the Territories and of the UK to ensure the good governance of the territories,” the report states. “The Government acknowledges the sensitivity of this area of work but believes that those living in the Territories have a right to expect the same high standards of governance as in the UK.”
In his introduction to the document, which will form the basis for Britain’s relationships with the territories from now on, William Hague says the White Paper is broad ranging, but does not "pretend to be comprehensive”.
Focusing on the economies and environments of its territories, the paper highlights the need for good governance.
The UK and the Territories will continue their partnership to meet the high standards set out in this White Paper,” the paper states. “The UK will provide support to the Territories, where necessary, to develop good governance, robust public financial management and sound economic planning. In particular we will support greater exchange of expertise between public servants in the Territories and the UK.”
As a result, public officials from the territories will train and work with colleagues in the UK, and UK experts will work in the territories.
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