Department for International Development: Public Sector Reform Turks and Caicos Islands (TCIG)

On March 24, 2009, Premier Michael Misick resigned as Britain prepared to take administrative control of the territory. Misick, who had been at the centre of the corruption probe into the ruling elite, said in a statement he was resigning to give way to a unified government. In August 2009, the United Kingdom suspended the Turks and Caicos' self-government after allegations of ministerial corruption. The prerogative of the ministerial government and the House of Assembly were vested in the islands' incumbent governor, Gordon Wetherell, for a period of up to two years, which could be shortened or extended as necessary.

On 31 May 2009, the Commission of Inquiry, led by Sir Robin Auld, a former Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal of England and Walesreported to the Governor that it had found "a high probability of systemic corruption in government and the legislature and among public officers in the Turks & Caicos Islands in recent years. ”It appears, in the main, to have consisted of bribery by overseas developers and other investors of Ministers and/or public officers, so as to secure Crown Land on favourable terms, coupled with government approval for its commercial development." The report recommended investigation "with a view to prosecution" of five former Cabinet ministers and made several recommendations for revisions of the Constitution and TCI laws to prevent a recurrence of corruption and misfeasance in government.

Following receipt of the review by the Governor, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office appointed Kate Sullivan to conduct a review and hold a series of public consultations with groups and individuals, and make recommendations for revisions to the TCI Constitution and various laws relating to belonger status, the electoral system, governmental transparency and accountability, and financial management of the territory. 

Governor Ric Todd, was sworn in on 12 September 2011 and published a set of eight "milestones" that would have to be met before elections could be held in the territory and self-government resumed. These milestones were prepared by FCO ministers in London and built upon the recommendations already made in the 2009 report and 2010 review mentioned above.

Approach 

Andrew Rogers directed the Public Sector Reform (PSR) Programme for TCIG; he started by structuring the programme so that it could deliver structural and procedural frameworks that could then be fully implemented across the Civil Service. 

His primary objective was to ensure operational efficiency and good governance. Andrew divided this public sector reform programme into a number of workstreams:

  • Organisational design - Restructuring across the 5 Ministries, top down including any immediate process redesign required, this work stream needs to encompass any change projects already underway within each Ministry
  • Capacity building - Training, mentoring and coaching of Permanent Secretaries and all senior management levels
  • Human Resources – Completion of rightsizing (VR), pay and grading and performance management
  • Machinery of Government – The creation of Corporate Boards, Ministry Boards, Codes of Practice/Codes of Conduct
  • Review of Statutory Bodies – To ensure that they support the needs of government.
  • Internal and External Communications - The production of a government wide communications strategy. Co-ordination of internal and external communications.
  • Contracts and Procurement - The development of Contract Management and Procurement Policy and Processes. Including the design of review points or performance indicators.
  • Property Rationalisation - Rationalisation of the Government estate to align with the new Ministries and reduce costs.

This programme was funded by DFID, so Andrew provided regular updates to DFID and the FCO in London. He recruited the special advisors to the programme and mentored permanent secretaries to ensure capacity building.

Outcomes

This change Programme delivered the following in its first 9* months:

  • A review of Constitutional bodies has resulted in a proposal to significantly rationalise the structures of the 4 constitutional bodies, with each having a similar role to that of the integrity commission. All 4 organisations delivered significant savings through shared administration and rationalisation of their use of offices.
  • The Machinery of Government advisor provided a draft a code of conduct for Ministers, another for special advisers and a further for Senior Civil Servants. The Democratic Services structure required post elections agreed and a budget for Democratic Services put in place.
  • Reform of Statutory Bodies (either reformed or wound up. 
  • TCIG Estate rationalisation leading to significant savings. It was clear that the TCIG accommodation is in the main in a poor state of repair so dramatic rationalisation was the only option.
  • Contract Management procedures have successfully been implemented and a new contracts management role will now ensure good governance.
  • An Internal Audit function has been created and new processes implemented and the team is setting up of a fraud reporting hotline within the internal audit unit. 
  • A Pay and Grading Strategy has been completed. An advisor has now commenced the work required to implement a revised pay and grading structure.
  • A new Public Services Ordinance was enacted. The public service handbook (formerly general orders) was implemented reflecting the ordinance
  • An FCO funded capacity building programme was delivered with PS’s visiting London and Norfolk.The partnership with Norfolk has already provided significant leaning for PS’s.

 

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