Governor Peter Beckingham chaired the meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday 6 March 2014 at the Hilly Ewing Building, Providenciales.
All Ministers were present except Akierra Missick.
At this meeting Cabinet:
• Advised HE. the Governor to allocate $102,000 from the National Forfeiture Fund to the Money Laundering Reporting Authority established under the Proceeds of Crime Ordinance for the development and creation of a National Risk Assessment;
• Advised HE. the Governor to approve, on the recommendation of the Money Laundering Authority, that the Proceeds of Crime Ordinance be amended to safeguard funds being retained for third parties in escrow that are within the National Forfeiture Fund;
• Granted approval for the appointment of the following persons to serve on the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board; Stacey Cox, Alvin Parker, Adrian Williams, Dethia Russell and Takara Bain;
• Noted the historical context of applications for Archaeological Exploration and Salvage Licenses within the Turks and Caicos Islands and mandated the development of a National Policy with procedures to address current and future applications of Archaeological Exploration. In addition, it was agreed that the Office of the Premier would convene a working group to develop a national policy and in so doing would consider elements of the UNESCO Convention governing underwater exploration and salvaging of wrecks;
• Approved a request from the Minister of Finance for the Supplementary Appropriation for Financial Year 2013/14 (No.2) and agreed that the draft Supplementary Appropriation Bill proceed to the House of Assembly for endorsement in accordance with Section 25 of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Ordinance 2012;
• Received a report from the Minister of Border Control and Labour regarding the status of PRC applications approved but not taken up owing to the suspension of PRC applications in February 2010. Cabinet agreed that in cases where the PRC had been approved prior to the commencement of the Immigration Regulations (amendment) 2012 that the approval should be honoured. Applicants will have until 30th June 2014 to raise the matter with the Ministry;
• Approved amendments to the Turks and Caicos Islands Building Code to bring the code into line with international best practice in this area;
• Approved the restructuring of the Business License Fee Schedule (effective 1st July 2014) including reclassification of the 'Miscellaneous Category' and streamlining and expansion of the 'Reserved Category'. Those non-TCI businesses which are licensed under existing law and are affected by these changes will be grandfathered in. All licenses issued between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014 will be given an extension of their validity until 30th June 2014. Details of the revised Fee Schedule will be issued by 1st May 2014;
• Approved, effective 1st April 2014, amendments to the Customs Tariff (General) Order 2010 to allow a reduction in import duty on pleasure craft, other marine vessels and row boats to 12% and that of commercial fishing vessels from 30% to 10%;
• Discussed the civil service employment and benefits policy working group that would include individuals from Deputy Governor’s Office, Human Resource Directorate, CSA, PSC and others that would be tasked with inter alia, strategies for the recruitment, retention and promotion of Turks and Caicos Islanders in the civil service and their benefits such as gratuity v performance award bonuses and other allowances. The Governor and Premier will elaborate more on the initiative in upcoming press briefings;
• The Cabinet agreed that Mr Seamus Day should be appointed the (unpaid) adviser on Sir Richard Branson's Carbon War Room alternative energy initiative for the Minister of Government Support Services and the Government as a whole. Mr Day will continue his liaison with the Carbon War Room following the recent decision of the Government to join the initiative.
Further information on these matters will be provided by ministers in due course.