Letter from Hon Peter Caruana QC, Chief
Minister, Gibraltar, to Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Secretary of State,
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 30 May 2002
Thank you for your letter dated 19 April 2002
(delivered 24 April).
As I said to you during our meeting, it would
appear that you have been misinformed as to both the general position
in Gibraltar with regard to statistics and transparency and also
with regard to the specific issues that you raise.
I have asked the Chief Secretary to record the
actual position in a detailed letter to the Deputy Governor. The
Chief Secretary expects that that letter will issue in the next
As my record in office clearly shows. I share
your commitment to open and transparent Government. Like you,
I campaigned for this in Opposition. Since attaining office in
1996 my Government has raised accountability and transparency,
right across all areas of Government, to levels which are unprecedent
If the overall position were as your letter
depicts, you would presumably be equally astonished to learn that
none of those issues has ever been raised with me by the Governor
or the FCO.
There is no question of any breach of any undertaking
in this area. Indeed, none has ever been requested or given.
As to EU obligations, you know that my Government's
policy is to implement them expeditiously. You may also know that
we have regular "tracking meetings" with Whitehall departments
to review the position. No unimplemented EU directives in this
field have been brought to our attention by HMG. Please therefore
let me know what these are (if any) and I will see to it that
they are implemented, if they have not already been implemented.
I hope that when you read the Chief Secretary's
letter you will see that the impression created by your letter
is not correct, and that you will agree that I am entitled to
feel, as I do, proud of my Government's achievements and record
in these areas. I believe that the transparency and probity of
my Government is self evident, and that it compares favourably
with other Governments in Europe, including HMG in the UK, which
is generally our benchmark in public administration.
This is, of course, an area of Government where,
in Gibraltar as in the UK, there are constant developments. We
therefore expect to continue to improve and refine our statistics
on a continuous basis, as we have been doing since 1996.
30 May 2002