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New Legislative Assembly: Portfolio Responsibilities – 13 November 2017

The new Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly convened for the first time on Monday, 13 November to elect a Speaker and Deputy Speaker, decide on the three elected representatives to sit on the Executive Council, to determine the distribution of portfolio responsibilities between themselves and to appoint two members to the PAC. 

Following the elections on Thursday, 9 November, the eight newly elected Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) met in assembly on Monday, 13 November to decide the following: a. Speaker and Deputy Speaker: Keith Biles was returned as Speaker and Claudette Prior, the recently retired Clerk to the Assembly, was appointed    Deputy Speaker. b. Executive Council: the three elected members of Executive Council will be Teslyn Barkman, Leona Roberts and Roger Spink. c. Portfolio Responsibilities: portfolio responsibilities were distributed as follows: 

1. Development & Commercial Services: Lead: Barry Elsby; deputy: Roger Spink 2. Public Protection: Lead: Leona Roberts; deputy: Teslyn Barkman 3. Public Works: Lead: Roger Edwards; deputy: Mark Pollard 4. Government Services: Lead: Roger Spink; deputy: Roger Edwards 5. Legal & Regulatory: Lead: Roger Spink; deputy: Roger Edwards 6. Health & Social Services: Lead: Ian Hansen; deputy: Dr Barry Elsby 7. Education & Community: Lead: Stacy Bragger; deputy: Leona Roberts 8. Energy & Environment: Lead: Teslyn Barkman; deputy: Ian Hansen 9. Natural Resources: Lead: Teslyn Barkman; deputy: Ian Hansen 10. Trade & Industry: Lead: Mark Pollard; deputy: Stacy Bragger 11. Employment, Training & Immigration: Lead: Mark Pollard; deputy: Stacy Bragger 12. International Relations, PR & Media: to be the joint responsibility of all 8 MLAs but Leona Roberts to lead on International Communication Strategies with Stacy Bragger as deputy, and Teslyn Barkman to lead on Brexit/EU with Roger Edwards as deputy. 

d. Public Accounts Committee: Mark Pollard and Dr Barry Elsby were appointed to the PAC. 

The three members of Executive Council are elected for a year (but can be re-elected). One must represent the Stanley constituency and one Camp. The Falkland Islands does not have a Ministerial system of government but does have a committee structure which operates under the authority of Executive Council. Each Committee is chaired by an MLA, with a deputy (as above), and comprises civil servants from the relevant Government departments with other experts as required.  The Falkland Islands has a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) comprising five members, two from the Legislative Assembly (as above) and three (including the chairman), from outside the Legislative Assembly. Although the PAC reports to the Legislative Assembly, it is independent of it and has a broader remit than the Westminster body. Established by the 2008 Constitution, it was designed to enhance the political accountability of government in a territory with no party political system and no formal opposition.

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