UK Overseas Territories Project

The UK Overseas Territories Project (UKOTP) is a coherent programme of transformational activities that are focused on enhancing good governance and oversight of public finances in the UK Overseas Territories.

In 2016, the UK Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK), together with the National Audit Office (NAO), and Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) formed a consortium to deliver the UK Overseas Territories Project.

The Project works with parliamentarians, parliamentary and electoral officials, external auditors, and internal auditors from across the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) to share good practice and exchange ideas. UKOTP is funded through the Overseas Territories and Polar Directorate of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Phase I (2016-2020)

In Phase I, UKOTP focused on three areas: internal audit; external audit; and parliamentary oversight of public finances (see graphic below). Through a series of parliamentary workshops, clerk attachments, training and mentoring forums, and capacity building activities, UKOTP has brought together parliamentarians and audit officials from the project across the Overseas Territories and the UK to share knowledge and good practice. UKOTP has worked in partnership with the Overseas Territories to identify key priority areas and to create territory-specific, demand-led programmes and activities.

Over the past four years, UKOTP has developed a robust and supportive community of stakeholders in the field of public financial oversight; from parliamentarians, clerks and officials, to internal and external auditors. Participants in UKTOP activities have had unique opportunities to meet their counterparts across the Overseas Territories and the UK and to reflect on mutual experiences, share ideas and explore innovative ways to overcome common challenges.

Phase II (2020-present)

In 2020 UKOT entered Phase II, which will continue to be led by CPA UK in partnership with the National Audit Office (NAO) and Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA). Based on the findings and lessons learned over the last four years, Phase II seeks to provide a broader remit of governance support and is aimed at improving the capacity of parliamentarians, parliamentary and electoral officials and public auditors in the UK Overseas Territories to conduct their legislative, oversight, and electoral responsibilities.

UKOTP will support a more holistic and integrated approach to promote good governance in the Overseas Territories by working in four spheres (parliamentary, electoral, external audit, and internal audit) across the electoral cycle (pre-election, election and post-election). As UKOTP enters the next phase, stakeholders will continue to access and exchange technical knowledge and expertise in internal and external audit, parliamentary oversight of public funds and electoral support. UKOTP remains committed to strengthening the role of parliamentary scrutiny across the Overseas Territories and building the capacity and effectiveness of important financial oversight institutions.

Multilateral Activities


Fifth Overseas Territories Forum on Oversight of Public Finances and Good Governance

Westminster, 29 November - 1 December 2022

Parliamentarians, clerks, electoral officials, and external and internal auditors from across the UK Overseas Territories travelled to Westminster to attend the fifth Overseas Territories Forum. The Forum was delivered by CPA UK, in collaboration with the National Audit Office, and the Government Internal Audit Agency. Over the three days, the Forum offered the opportunity for delegates to discuss and share knowledge through panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and meetings.

To read the Fifth Overseas Territories Forum Report, click here.

Fourth Overseas Territories Forum on Oversight of Public Finances and Good Governance

Virtual, 30 November - 2 December 2021

Key actors from the UK and the Overseas Territories met virtually from 30 November to 2 December for the Oversight of Public Finance and Good Governance Forum 2021. This was the fourth programme of its kind, designed to bring together key stakeholders from across the Overseas Territories, including Speakers, Members, and Clerks from Legislatures, as well as Internal and External Auditors and Electoral Officials, to explore issues relating to good governance and oversight of public finances.

Clerk Leadership Group

Virtual, April 2021 to present

The Clerk Leadership Group was launched in April 2021 and is a network designed to provide a forum for clerks from across the Overseas Territories to share their knowledge, expertise, and best practices on parliamentary clerk services with one another. The Clerk Leadership Groups meets at least once a quarter.

Third Overseas Territories Forum on Oversight of Public Finances and Good Governance

Westminster, 9-11 December 2019

The third Overseas Territories Forum of the UK Overseas Territories Project led by CPA UK in partnership with the UK National Audit Office (NAO) and the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) brought together key stakeholders from PACs, Internal and External Audit offices from across the UK Overseas Territories.

Second Overseas Territories Forum on Oversight of Public Finances and Good Governance

Miami, 5-7 March 2019

The second Overseas Territories Forum ran from 5-7 March 2019 and was attended by parliamentarians; clerks; and Heads of Internal and External Audit from Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena, Turks & Caicos Islands, the UK, and Virgin Islands (UK). 

First Overseas Territories Forum on Oversight of Public Finances and Good Governance

Miami, 1-2 March 2017

The inaugural Overseas Territories Forum was held in Miami from 1-2 March 2017 to launch the UK Overseas Territories Project. The Forum brought together Chairs and Members of Public Accounts Committees and Heads of Internal and External Audit from the UK and Overseas Territories. The Forum provided an opportunity to launch the Good Practice Guide and, through a series of workshops, enabled participants to discuss challenges and successes to achieving good practice in public financial oversight.

Recent Bilateral Activities

Turks and Caicos Islands: Public Accounts Committee Visit to Westminster

Westminster, 12 - 15 June 2023

CPA UK hosted members of the Public Accounts Committee of the Turks and Caicos Islands for a four-day programme designed to cover a range of important aspects of PACs, including the role and remit of PACs, the role of clerks and chairs, committee hearing preparation, questioning techniques, developing PAC inquires and role of witnesses in addition to committee exercises.

The TCI PAC delegation will also had the opportunity to meet with the National Audit Office (NAO) team to learn and share their experiences of processing financial information.  

St Helena Public Accounts Committee Visit to Westminster, Westminster, 25 - 27 January 2023

CPA UK hosted the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of St Helena for a three-day programme designed to increase the capacity of the PAC to perform its duties. The delegation met with their counterparts and other staff from the UK Parliament, as well as staff from the National Audit Office, to share knowledge and ideas on the opportunities and challenges facing PACs. The programme covered several topics, including understanding financial information, developing PAC inquiries, effective questioning, and outreach and engagement.

Clerk Secondment to the Anguilla House of Assembly, Anguilla, July 2022

CPA UK facilitated the participation of the Deputy Clerk of Tynwald and Clerk to the Legislative Council, and a Research and Project Officer from the Jersey States of Assembly to participate in a Clerk Secondment with Anguilla's House of Assembly.

St Helena Speaker Visits Westminster, Westminster, May 2022

The Speaker of the Legislative Council of St Helena, Hon. Cyril Gunnell, attended a one-day programme in Westminster, and met with Baroness D'Souza from the House of Lords. Their discussions covered the importance of public engagement, the Learn with the Lords programme, and St Helena's Youth Parliament.

Bermuda and St Helena Clerk Attachment to the States of Jersey's Public Accounts Committee, States of Jersey, 21 February - 4 March 2022

CPA UK facilitated the participation of two Overseas Territories clerks in a two-week attachment with the PAC of the States of Jersey. The attachment provided a close insight into the host PAC’s work processes, and the participant benefitted from the sharing of practical knowledge and good practice.

St Helena Post-Election Seminar, Virtual, 1-3 February 2022

Upon the invitation of the Legislative Council of St Helena, CPA UK delivered a virtual Post-Election Seminar from 1-3 February 2022. The Seminar set out to prepare parliamentarians and parliamentary officials for their roles through a series of activities designed to facilitate sharing knowledge and the exchange of ideas. Particular emphasis was placed on engaging with the recent constitutional changes in St Helena: the transition to the ministerial system and the introduction of select committees.

Montserrat Legislative Assembly Members Communications Training, Virtual, 8 November 2021

The training, which took place virtually on 8 November, aimed to support elected representatives in Montserrat in communication skills for parliamentary purposes. The training session covered a range of topics, including etiquette and conduct in the chamber, debating and questioning, and effective communication in a committee context.

Turks and Caicos Islands Post-Election Seminar, Turks and Caicos Islands, 16-23 September 2021

CPA UK was delighted to have been invited by the House of Assembly of Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), to deliver a Post-Election Seminar from 16-23 September. The Seminar set out to equip the new cohort of parliamentarians with the skills and knowledge necessary to perform their duties effectively, through a series of activities in which parliamentarians exchanged on a range of topics.

For more information on other activities which UKOTP has delivered, please visit our Overseas Territories pages.