St Helena

Chamber of the Legislative Council, Jamestown

Chamber of the Legislative Council, Jamestown

Key Facts

Head of State: HM King Charles III

Head of Government: Chief Minister Hon. Julie Thomas MLC

Capital City (location of Parliament): Jamestown

Unicameral/Bicameral: Unicameral - Legislative Council (14) 

Further Information:



CPA UK & St Helena

CPA UK has partnered successfully with St Helena's Legislative Council and its, constitutionally independent, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on a number of activities to strengthen good governance and build in-territory expertise. St Helena regularly engages in bilateral and multilateral activities delivered as part of the CPA UK-led UK Overseas Territories Project (UKOTP) which focuses on good governance and oversight of public finances.

St Helena was the first UK Overseas Territory to complete an Internal Quality Assessment (IQA) for the internal audit service of St Helena Government (SHG) as part of UKOTP. The process was supported by a senior auditor seconded from the UK Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) to SHG for two months. The secondment also supported the Head of Internal Audit in his review of various working processes. 

The strong relationship between CPA UK and St Helena predates the launch of UKOTP. In its capacity as secretariat for CPA British Isles and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR), CPA UK arranged a post-election seminar for newly elected Councillors in July/August 2013. Parliamentarians from St Helena are actively involved in CPA BIMR activities, including Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, and attend CPA UK multilateral events such as the Westminster Seminar.

Recent Programmes

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.

Trade Workshop for Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies, and Devolved Legislatures, Westminster, 7-9 February 2023

CPA UK organised a three-day workshop, aiming to enhance effective scrutiny and oversight of international trade agreements, focusing on the following themes: knowledge building on trade; the role of parliamentarians in trade; and scrutiny in practice.

To read the Trade Workshop Final Report, click here.

Public Accounts Committee Workshop, Westminster, 5-7 December 2022

The three-day Workshop was designed to allow delegates to collaborate with colleagues across different regions, discussing responses to shared challenges faced by Pubic Accounts Committees. It provided an opportunity for clerks and officials to share experiences, examine existing practices and find new approaches to the financial scrutiny work of PACs.

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.

Visit of the Speaker to WestminsterWestminster, 11 May 2022

CPA UK organised a one-day programme in Westminster, UK Parliament, for the Hon. Cyril Gunnell, Speaker of the Legislative Council of St Helena.

Westminster SeminarWestminster, 14-18 March 2022

The 70th edition of CPA UK's flagship programme for newly-elected parliamentarians and clerks, providing a unique platform for participants to network and engage with counterparts; exploring approaches to parliamentary democracy, practice and procedure in the context of parliamentary systems from across the Commonwealth, drawing comparisons between different legislatures.

Clerk Attachment to the States of Jersey Assembly Public Accounts CommitteeJersey, 21 February - 4 March 2022

CPA UK facilitated the participation of a clerk from Saint Helena in a two-week attachment with the PAC of the States of Jersey Assembly. 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.

Fourth Overseas Territories Forum on Oversight of Public Finances & 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.

PAC Inquiry Workshop, Virtual, 11-22 October 2021

CPA UK hosted two, five-day virtual training workshops for Commonwealth Public Accounts Committees, giving delegates an opportunity to explore each stage of an inquiry process from evidence gathering and effective questioning techniques to reports, recommendations, and media engagement.

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.

Featured Past Programmes

Election Expert Mission to St Helena General Election, Virtual, 4-15 October 2021

At the invitation of the Governor of St Helena, an independent team of international experts conducted a virtual Election Expert Mission to the St Helena General Election 2021. The Mission, organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR), assessed St Helena's General Election against international standards, commitments and obligations as well as domestic laws.

Financial Scrutiny Workshop SeriesVirtual, 16 November, 30 November, 7 December 2020

Over three weeks CPA UK organised virtual workshops on financial scrutiny, designed to meet the needs of St Helena’s Public Accounts Committee. Designed and delivered by Larry Honeysett, Head of Financial Scrutiny at the UK Parliament Scrutiny Unit, the main goal of the workshops was to improve knowledge and understanding of financial scrutiny in relation to three topics: Understanding Financial Statements, Measuring Performance and Value for Money, and Approaches to Scrutiny and Questioning.

Clerk Secondment to the St Helena Public Accounts Committee, Jamestown, 7-18 May 2018

Based on the priorities of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), CPA UK arranged an in-territory Clerk secondment to the PAC from 7–18 May 2018. Fay Bowen, Clerk to the PAC at the National Assembly for Wales, supported the PAC Chair, Clerk, and Members in reviewing their work processes, and also provided information on the role and remit of the PAC to a broader range of stakeholders, including the Speaker and Legislative Council.

Public Accounts Committee Visit to the UK Parliament and Tynwald, Westminster and the Isle of Man, 27-30 November 2017

CPA UK arranged a visit to the UK Parliament and Tynwald for the Chair, Members and Clerk of St Helena's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as part of the UKOT Project. Delegates benefited from direct exchanges with their counterparts on topics including challenges for PACs in small legislatures.