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Turks and Caicos Islands' Cabinet update and actions

Acting Governor, Hon. Anya Williams chaired the 15th meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday 10th July 2013 on Grand Turk.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Hon. Anya Williams
Hon. Anya Williams chaired the Turks and Caicos' Cabinet meeting.

All Ministers were present at the meeting in the House Of Assembly Building, except the Minister of Border Control and Labour who is out of the country on official business.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Received a presentation from Mr John Smith, CEO of the Turks and Caicos Islands Airport Authority (TCIAA) updating them on the airport terminal expansion project. The Project (currently underway) will increase the size of the current airport terminal and will improve facilities for passengers and airline operators. Cabinet heard that the project is on time and within budget. The project will be completed by the end of 2014. Cabinet requested sight of the master plan for the operation of the new facility and regular update briefings from TCIAA. Cabinet was also concerned about the status of employment of Islanders on the airport project and the Premier undertook to engage the Labour Department, contractor and subcontractors concerning employment of Islanders.

  • Heard a presentation from Mr Kevin Higgins, CEO of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) outlining the role and responsibilities of the FSC and clarifying their role supporting the development of the financial services industry. The FSC is an independent body with primary responsibility for the regulation of the industry and it provides some assistance (as part of its role) with the development and promotion of the industry. Cabinet welcomed the presentation and requested further dialogue with the FSC and the industry.

  • Approved the drafting of amendments to repeal Section 17 of the Company Management (Licensing) Ordinance. The section to be repealed made provision for the appointment of a Superintendent of Company Management, whose duties, since 2007, have been discharged by the Financial Services Commission as a whole. S.17 is therefore obsolete, and needs to be repealed.

  • Approved the drafting of legislation which changes the term Non-Regulated Financial Businesses (NRFB), as is currently in the various Anti- Money Laundering Legislation to Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFPB).

  • Reviewed the structure of the Human Rights Commission and the need to put to the house a revised Bill that is in line with the provisions set out in the 2011 Constitution. Agreed that HE, the Governor, introduce a Bill to provide for the appointment of a part-time Commission and a full-time CEO along the lines of the model operated by the Integrity Commission. Cabinet requested that draft legislation on the matter be further considered at their meeting in August 2013. The Bill will then be introduced to the House of Assembly.

  • Discussed a proposal from the AG regarding the drafting of legislation to rehabilitate offenders who have not been reconvicted of any serious offence for periods of years so that some criminal convictions are not disclosed and to penalise the unauthorised disclosure of their previous convictions. Cabinet requested that the AG draft legislation (based on the UK and Bermuda models) for further consideration at a future Cabinet meeting.

  • Received a presentation from the Deputy Attorney General on the terms of the hospitals agreement with Inter-health Canada. Cabinet welcomed the presentation and requested a further briefing on the matter at a separate session.

  • Considered a proposal from the Minister of Health and Human Services for amendments to the National HIV/ Aids Policy and the introduction of legislation to alleviate HIV stigma and discrimination. The AG informed Cabinet that these matters are currently included within the provisions of the Equality Ordinance 2012. Cabinet endorsed the importance of these matters and the application of the law.

  • Noted a paper from the Minister of Finance updating Cabinet on the establishment of a Blue Ribbon Tax Committee. The committee is being established to advise the Government with development of the most appropriate method of taxation for the Turks and Caicos Islands. The committee will comprise members from TCIG, the Opposition Party, Hotel and Tourism Association, Accounting Association, Banking Association, Resort Economic Council, Bar Council and Chambers of Commerce. The committee will receive technical support from the UK Technical Assistance Programme and will be established during July 2013.

  • Noted that negotiations on the Beaches Development Agreement are continuing and agreed that HE the Governor sign a license granting land that is presently used for beach access to Beaches, pending an agreement surrounding outstanding matters pertaining to Community Works (i.e. Craft Market and refurbishment of existing access (Forbes road) and parking lot)

  • Cabinet noted Minister Simmonds letter of the 1st July 2013 to the Premier approving the budget proposals for the financial year 2013/14. The budget was subsequently laid on the table at the last sitting of the House of Assembly and will be formally presented to the House by the Minister of Finance on July 22nd, 2013.

  • Noted the Minister for Health and Human Services away from the islands during the period July 12-18, on official business the Minister for Government Support Services will be off island during the period July 14-18 on official duties.

Published 11 July 2013