Structure of Governance
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory. The Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2011 provides for an elected Government comprising of a Ministerial Cabinet and an elected House of Assembly.
The Governor is appointed by the Queen to be her representative and to carry out key duties to support the people of the Islands such as chairing Cabinet and ensuring the good governance of the Territory.
Under the Constitution the Governor has responsibility for defense, external affairs, the regulation of international financial services; and internal security, including the police force. The Queen also has the power to legislate for the Islands by Order in Council and to instruct the Governor through the British Government’s Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs.
The Deputy Governor is appointed by the Governor by way of an open application process. The position may be considered the most senior civil service post as the Deputy Governor heads the Public Service, the line manager for permanent secretaries, and is a non-voting member of Cabinet.
The Deputy Governor also acts as Governor when the latter is away from the territory. Under the Constitution, this position must be held by a native islander.
The House of Assembly
There are 19 seats in the Turks and Caicos Islands’ House of the Assembly. Fifteen (15) of these seats are filled directly by candidates whom have been directly elected. There are also four (4) other members- one each nominated by a leaders of the two parties that make up the House - two of whom are appointed by the Governor.