Categorized | Editorial, Local

Be the generation that strives to live out Good Governance

Last week we said we would conclude the current discourse on good governance. Well, for the time being, here are the final descriptions.

Effectiveness and efficiency – Good governance means that processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal. The concept of efficiency in the context of good governance also covers the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.

Accountability – Accountability is a key requirement of good governance. Not only governmental institutions but also the private sector and civil society organizations must be accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders. Who is accountable to whom varies depending on whether decisions or actions taken are internal or external to an organization or institution. In general an organization or an institution is accountable to those who will be affected by its decisions or actions. Accountability cannot be enforced without transparency and the rule of law.

Rule of law – Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities. Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force. Very important to understand and appreciate this. All, everyone; the executive, legislative, civil society, media, the judiciary itself, all rely on the rule of law to be enforced impartially.

Participation – Participation by both men and women is a key cornerstone of good governance. Participation could be either direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or representatives. It is important to point out that representative democracy does not necessarily mean that the concerns of the most vulnerable in society would be taken into consideration in decision making. Participation needs to be informed and organized. This means freedom of association and expression on the one hand and an organized civil society on the other hand.

At the beginning, we asked everyone, “How much do we all understand about good governance?” We presented eight pointers on what should constitute good governance and we said, “Anyone can determine how the UK and Montserrat stack up. See how it matches the understandings you and your friends have.

We wonder if anyone who read these thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations as to what is required to constitute ‘good governance’, gave any thoughts, formed any opinions, held any discussions, agreed, disagreed, or condemned what they read. Surely there are those who may have done none of the above, probably dismissing the whole discourse as impossible dreams or expectations.

We would of course remind that it was stated by the exponents of the discussions, “it should be clear that good governance is an ideal which is difficult to achieve in its totality”. Very few countries and societies have come close to achieving good governance in its totality.

We believe that any country that speaks of excellence in any sphere of life or being must accept that ‘the order of good governance’ must exist.

Also anyone who talks and genuinely wants to attain sustainable (human) development, we agree actions must be taken to work towards this ideal with the aim of making it a reality. That doesn’t seem so difficult, but how many generations must go by, before there is the desire. If you argue there is, talk is not enough, be that generation, be counted.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Last week we said we would conclude the current discourse on good governance. Well, for the time being, here are the final descriptions.

Effectiveness and efficiency – Good governance means that processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal. The concept of efficiency in the context of good governance also covers the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.

Accountability – Accountability is a key requirement of good governance. Not only governmental institutions but also the private sector and civil society organizations must be accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders. Who is accountable to whom varies depending on whether decisions or actions taken are internal or external to an organization or institution. In general an organization or an institution is accountable to those who will be affected by its decisions or actions. Accountability cannot be enforced without transparency and the rule of law.

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Rule of law – Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities. Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force. Very important to understand and appreciate this. All, everyone; the executive, legislative, civil society, media, the judiciary itself, all rely on the rule of law to be enforced impartially.

Participation – Participation by both men and women is a key cornerstone of good governance. Participation could be either direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or representatives. It is important to point out that representative democracy does not necessarily mean that the concerns of the most vulnerable in society would be taken into consideration in decision making. Participation needs to be informed and organized. This means freedom of association and expression on the one hand and an organized civil society on the other hand.

At the beginning, we asked everyone, “How much do we all understand about good governance?” We presented eight pointers on what should constitute good governance and we said, “Anyone can determine how the UK and Montserrat stack up. See how it matches the understandings you and your friends have.

We wonder if anyone who read these thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations as to what is required to constitute ‘good governance’, gave any thoughts, formed any opinions, held any discussions, agreed, disagreed, or condemned what they read. Surely there are those who may have done none of the above, probably dismissing the whole discourse as impossible dreams or expectations.

We would of course remind that it was stated by the exponents of the discussions, “it should be clear that good governance is an ideal which is difficult to achieve in its totality”. Very few countries and societies have come close to achieving good governance in its totality.

We believe that any country that speaks of excellence in any sphere of life or being must accept that ‘the order of good governance’ must exist.

Also anyone who talks and genuinely wants to attain sustainable (human) development, we agree actions must be taken to work towards this ideal with the aim of making it a reality. That doesn’t seem so difficult, but how many generations must go by, before there is the desire. If you argue there is, talk is not enough, be that generation, be counted.