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TCI Cabinet confirms Airport CEO, Watching Haiti, Updates on Natl Security, agrees to merge NIB and NHIP and approves Islanders to various boards – Magnetic Media

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#TurksandCaicos, November 14, 2022 – Godfrey Smith is now officially the CEO of the Turks and Caicos Airports Authority after a 10-month stint in the role as acting chief executive officer; it’s one of the decisions from a November 2nd Cabinet Meeting.  Smith is confirmed for a 3-year contract at the TCIAA.
Duty exemptions are extended to Provo Water Company for the importation of a water storage tank and pumping equipment and to Como Parrot Cay for the machinery to be used for recycling waste products.
Cabinet has also approved a wage system for prisoners carrying out voluntary work under a new program to be called “The Progressive Regime and Earned Privileges Scheme.”
And the moratorium on the issuance of business licenses for construction companies in the contractor’s category with non-Turks & Caicos Islander involvement wil continue for six (6) more months but at least one unnamed company has been granted an exemption from this.
Here are more highlights as reported by the TCI Cabinet:
At this meeting Cabinet:
Approved the merger of the NIB and the NHIP Collections and Compliance Functions.
Was briefed on a Turks and Caicos Islands Government led initiative with the US Government’s Department of Homeland Security to combat the issue of irregular migration into the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Was updated on the progress of establishing a Turks and Caicos Islands Border Force, and endorsed a number of structures, leadership frameworks, and other measures bringing together the work of the Customs and Immigration departments under a unified Border Force.
Was briefed on the 1st Quarter Financial Report 2022-23 of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and approved for the same to be made public.
Approved for the drafting of a Bill to allow for the payment of housing allowances to former ministers for the period 1 September 2019 to 31 December 2020, subject to a reconciliation of subsistence and accommodation payments during the said period for the impacted persons.
Approved an amendment to Turks and Caicos Islands Citizen Homeowner Policy.
Approved a business license in a restricted business activity for Phoenix Fisheries & Seafood.
Approved for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government to enter into negotiations with Ani T&C Ltd. for a Development Agreement for the development of a private resort on North Caicos.
Approved for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government to enter into a lease agreement for an office accommodation on Providenciales.
Approved a wage system for prisoners carrying out voluntary work under a new program to be called “The Progressive Regime and Earned Privileges Scheme”.
Approved the appointments of Doreen Quelch-Missick, Latisha Williams, Alleveia Butterfield, Kerchelle Bain, Dr Alicia Malcolm, Dr Anya Malcolm-Gibbs, Alces Dor and Selvon Bruce-Whatley to the Adoption Review Panel.
Members to serve for a period of one (1) year with effect from 7 November 2022.
Was briefed on the work being performed on energy, energy efficiency, and emission reduction policies, which will shape future legislative and regulatory frameworks.
Approved an exemption on import duties for Provo Water Company for the importation of a water storage tank and pumping equipment.
Approved an exemption on import duties for Como Parrot Cay for the importation of machinery to be used for recycling waste products.
Approved the appointment of Godfrey Smith as CEO of the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority for three (3) years.
Approved a lease agreement for the temporary relocation of Customs and Immigrations Departments on North Caicos following damages to their offices by Hurricane Fiona in September 2022.
Approved the appointment of Zaneta Burton (Government Representative), Floyd Seymour (Employer Representative), and Danita Clare (Insured Person Representative) to the National Insurance Board for a period of three (3) years with effect from 7 November 2022.
Approved the appointment of Doreen Quelch-Missick (2 years) and Wendall Swann (1 year) to the Labour Tribunal with effect from 1 January 2023.
Approved a six (6) month extension to the moratorium on the issuance of business licenses for construction companies in the contractor’s category with non-Turks & Caicos Islander involvement. The extension will take effect from the 21st of October 2022.
Approved, for a named company, a waiver with certain conditions, to the moratorium on the issuance of business licenses for construction companies in the contractor’s category with non-Turks and Caicos Islander involvement.
Approved a Christmas Salary Advance of one month’s basic salary (excluding allowances) to all Public Officers and pensioners, and terms for re-payment.
Discussed the deteriorating situation in Haiti. The Governor is in close contact with the US and UK Governments on scenario planning and mitigation.

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Appointment of Interim CEO at TCIAA
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By Deandrea Hamilton and Dana Malcolm
Editorial Team
 
#TurksandCaicos, November 14, 2022 – The deputy leader of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) is demanding an explanation with specific questions begging for answers following the cabinet shuffle by Washington Missick, PNP Party Leader and TCI Premier; Robert Been maintains that the decision once again forces residents to question his leadership capability.
“The people demand more than a press statement about the shuffle and need to know the reasons behind it. Hon Premier, times have changed from when you were the Chief Minister of this country. I am certain to be at the head is not easy, but your position was not awarded to you by the people to act as a selfish dictator. You are charged to make decisions that are in the best interest of the people; decisions that protect the future of our country and that protect the youths who will have to live with the decisions made today. Yet, we are left to wonder whether many of the recent decisions made by this Premier and the Governor are in the best interests of our citizens,” said Been in a statement issued Wednesday, November 9.
Robert Been, a candidate in the 2016 and 2021 general election explained that removal of young leader revealed there were cracks in the Progressive National Party.
“Hon Premier let’s be honest with the people of this country, your first two years of office has been a failure and now you are playing the blame game on your ministers, for example: going public regarding your disappointment in the delivery of E-governance, the disappointment in crime and the list goes on. I would strongly recommend you consider doing the people a favor – call an early election instead of shuffling your ministers frequently.”
He added, “If we can recall, when the Premier made the decision not to have a ministry, he clearly stated that the Hon Minister of Long Bay would be the best person to take charge of government business/affairs, so why the change now?”
Questioning the PNP Administration’s plans in light of a looming recession, its progress on the murderous crime still largely untamed and expecting answers on the value this shuffle brings to TCIG, Been expressed, “This is concerning for the future of our country when those at the helm have no vision to prepare a place for Turks and Caicos Islanders who show aspirations in future leadership.”
While acknowledging that “being at the head is not easy” he said the premier’s  position was not awarded by the people to act as a selfish dictator and Robert Been is now strongly supporting a new call for an early election.
Once again, this PNP Administration continues to demonstrate that they are incapable of governing The Turks and Caicos Islands, and it is made apparent consistently through their poor decision making. Crime continues to increase; health care continues to be a concern. Additionally, the local economy continues to be plagued by high inflation, with the possibility of a recession looming within the next year. I am sure the people expected much more from a government with a mandate of 14-1.

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By Dana Malcom
Staff Writer
 
#TurksandCaicos, November 14, 2022 – In three weeks items like grits, bread, cereals, cooking oil, sugar, meats and fruits will be more expensive for Turks and Caicos consumers.  The tax exemption on bread basket items which began in August as part of the TCI Government’s $16 million Price Inflation Stimulus Package is scheduled to end in just over two weeks.
The duty exemptions were instituted to help with the island’s grocery prices and included dozens of everyday food and household items on supermarket shelves.  It also applied to individuals who shopped online or on trip and imported the goods personally.  At the time food inflation had hit over 30 per cent making food incredibly expensive for even middle income households.
Currently, food inflation in the United States stands at 10.9 per cent, a number which, as E. Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade had pointed out would be imported and compounded for residents in the Turks and Caicos islands.  The exemption holds steady for the popular Black Friday super shopping weekend but expires just before the Christmas rush when residents will be reaching for even more goods on supermarket shelves to celebrate the holiday season.
Economists have, since September, refreshed predictions that food prices will not go down anytime soon.  The TCI Government has not indicated to the public whether it will renew the tax exemption.
In any case residents will still benefit, though to a markedly lesser degree, from the 2.5 per cent food and fuel tax break decrease announced in April and the partial payment of fuel surcharges on their electricity bills rolled out in October as the Fuel Factor Stabilization Credit.
The fuel factor credit expires at the end of 2022 and the food and fuel tax break runs out in April of 2023.
The current measure which allowed grocers to buy and pass on duty free prices to shoppers and which gave residents full duty exemption on items they themselves brought into the country ends in a mere 16 days.

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By Sherrica Thompson
Staff Writer
 
#Jamaica, November 14, 2022 – Eight American cruise ship passengers were arrested on Wednesday, November 9, in Jamaica after allegedly attempting to leave the country with cocaine valued at more than JMD 130 million, about 850,000 US dollars.
According to reports from the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), the eight cruise line passengers arrived in Ocho Rios, St Ann, from Miami, Florida, on Wednesday and disembarked the vessel.
Reports are that at around 1:30 p.m. the eight passengers were re-boarding the vessel for departure when anomalies were detected in their luggage.
During a search by members of the Narcotics Division, a total of 24 packages containing cocaine weighing just over 17 kilograms (38 pounds) were found concealed in their bags.
The passengers were arrested for breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act. The police have withheld the identities of the individuals pending further investigations.
The Jamaican police believe the Americans are part of a transnational drug trafficking syndicate operating between the United States and Jamaica.

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GB Minister conducts initial assessment of damage from TS Nicole
Copyright 2018 Magnetic Media. All Rights Reserved.

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