The Cayman Islands Cabinet has now made its operations more transparent and open to the public through the publication of a 26-page Cabinet Manual, outlining all procedures for conducting government business.
Work to create the manual originally began in 2004 as an update to the Guide to the Operations of Executive Council, which was in effect since 1995. Categorised as a restricted document, this guide was not previously shared with the general public. However, in a spirit of openness and transparency, the PACT Government has now replaced the 1995 guide, and made the new Cabinet Manual publicly accessible.
His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, OBE congratulated the Government and Cabinet Office on finalising and publishing the Manual, viewing it as an important step towards strengthening and upholding good governance in the Cayman Islands. Governor Roper explained that, in his constitutional role as Chair of Cabinet, he will work closely with the Cabinet Office to ensure that all Cabinet-related business is conducted according to the Manual.
Governor Roper commented, “This significant step, combined with recent decisions to publish summaries of Cabinet and National Security Council meetings, underlines the elected Government’s continued commitment to transparency. It strengthens the Cayman Islands’ solid reputation for being a mature, well-run and stable jurisdiction, which is governed by the rule of law. The willingness to make necessary changes to our system of governance are signs of a healthy and thriving democracy, playing a crucial role in the Cayman Islands’ success story.”
Premier Hon. G. Wayne Panton, JP, MP, also praised his Cabinet colleagues for their commitment to transparency and making good on promises to the public:
“Going public with the Cabinet Manual follows our approval of the Code of Conduct for Minsters and Members of Cabinet, as well as the publication of weekly Cabinet meeting summaries, which had remained confidential before the PACT Government. These actions represent an unprecedented level of commitment to transparency and good governance,” said Premier Panton.
Lauding the Cabinet Office for its continued work over the years to develop and finalise the manual, Premier Panton hopes the people of the Cayman Islands will now gain greater insight into the work of Cabinet. The manual will remain a working document to be updated periodically as processes and procedures are improved, he added.
Much of the updating to the current manual, done by Premier Panton voluntarily during his first term in the 2013-17 Cabinet, has now been included in the newly-published document. Topics covered include Cabinet decision-making, consultation and confidentiality.
The Cabinet Manual – A guide to laws, conventions and rules on the operation of Government can be viewed at www.gov.ky/publication-detail/cabinet-manual .