Created by section 117 the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 (“the Constitution”), the Commission for Standards in Public Life (“the Commission”) is an independent body enshrined in the Constitution to enhance democracy in the country and ensure that there is sufficient oversight of the public sector.
The Commission’s overarching powers are ingrained in the Standards in Public Life Law, 2014 (“the Law”), the Standards in Public Life (Amendment) Law, 2016, and the Standards in Public Life Regulations, 2016.
Appointment of Commission Members
In the exercise of its powers and performance of its functions under the Law and the Constitution the Commission is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority. Moreover, the Law provides for the Commission to have the same powers as the Grand Court to summon witnesses, and require the production of reports, documents and other relevant information.
Appointed by Her Excellency the Governor, acting after consultation with the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition, the Commission consists of a Chairman and not less than two nor more than four other members. Members are people of the highest integrity with knowledge of practice in the private or public section. At least one member is a chartered or certified accountant and at least one is a legal practitioner; both of whom have at least ten years’ experience.
Persons cannot be appointed to the Commission if they:
are a member of the Legislative Assembly;
hold, or have at any time during the preceding three years held, a public office;
have at any time during the preceding five years held office in a political party; or
are not a Caymanian.
Offices can become vacant in five ways:
at the expiration of four years from the date of his or her appointment;
if the member is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Commission, unless the absence is approved by the Governor;
if the member resigns in writing to the Governor;
if the member is removed from office by the Governor for inability to discharge the functions of his office; or
If the member with his or her consent is nominated for election to the Legislation Assembly or is appointed to any public office.
Functions of the Commission
As prescribed in section 117 of the Constitution and section 5 (1) of the Standards in Public Life Law, the functions of the CSPL are -
to assist in the setting of the highest standards of integrity and competence in public life in order to ensure the prevention of corruption or conflicts of interest;
to monitor standards of ethical conduct in the Legislative Assembly, the Cabinet, and on the part of public authorities and public officers;
to supervise the operation of the Register of Interests and to investigate breaches of established standards;
to review and establish procedures for awarding public contracts;
to review and establish procedures for appointing members to public authorities, and the terms of their appointment;
to recommend codes of conduct to prevent any Minister, public authority or public officer employing their power for any personal benefit or advantage, and to recommend legislation to provide appropriate sanctions;
to report to the Legislative Assembly at regular intervals, and at least every six months; and
to exercise such other functions as may be prescribed by this or any other Law enacted by the Legislature.