Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 04, 2017 (SKNIS): Transparency and accountability are expected to continue in 2017 as good governance practice in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris during his New Year’s Day Address on Sunday, January 01, 2017.

“We will move forward a legislative framework that addresses our agenda of good governance, accountability and transparency. It will reflect our standing as a responsible member of the international community,” said Prime Minister Harris. “We will advance work on electoral reform, justice for workers, and reform of our education and health systems. We have provided honest information about our fiscal and economic performance, our Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, and immigration data more than at any period in our history.”

Prime Minister Harris pointed to a number of good governance practices since assuming office in February 2015.

“Our Ministers have utilized the provision on the Order Paper for Ministers Statement [Parliament] to provide helpful information on a diverse range of matters of interest to the public, such as education, fiscal outcomes, healthcare, public safety, tourism, water, etc.,” he said. “We regularly lay audited accounts for public sector entities on the Table of Parliament. The consistency with which we do this is a new norm and a fresh start in terms of transparency and accountability. Good governance is the norm by which we conduct the nation’s business.

Dr. Harris said that good governance does not come overnight because there will always be work to do in the area, as systems, laws and the expectations of society change. He noted, however, that his government has made strides where this is concerned and will continue the practice so as to bring further transparency.

“Therefore we will be attentive to these developments. We will do whatever we have committed to do in good time in the context of our democratic mandate from the people. This mandate, we cherish,” he added.

In an effort to continue along the path of transparency and good governance, since assuming office, Prime Minister Harris and his Cabinet regularly updated the general public on matters relevant to St. Kitts and Nevis. This, he said, will continue throughout 2017.