Acting Governor Anya Williams chaired the 20th meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday at the House of Assembly Building on Grand Turk.
All Ministers were present.
At this meeting Cabinet:
• Approved the award of contracts for the provision of vehicles to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Service; design and installation of a CCTV system at the radar station in Providenciales; installation of a generator at the Green Door hurricane shelter in Grand Turk; and the construction of a customs warehouse and fencing in Grand Turk. These contract awards follow a competitive tendering process undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the Procurement Ordinance. Contract award notices providing further details will be published in due course;
• Considered a paper from the Minister for Education on the progress of matters relating to the National Stadium. Cabinet noted the progress made in the current negotiations and that the matter will require debate by the House of Assembly. In the meantime negotiations are continuing;
• Considered a paper from the Minister of Finance regarding the Ambergris Cay Resort Community Development Proposal. Cabinet agreed (on the basis that current outstanding financial obligations are settled) to commence negotiations on a Memorandum of Understanding with the developer leading to a new Development Agreement (based on the new investment policy) in due course;
• Approved a draft of the Hotel and Restaurant (taxation) Amendment Bill 2013. The purpose of the Bill is to assist with strengthening the current ordinance, broadening the accommodation tax base and improving compliance following recent consultation with the industry. The Bill will now be referred to the House of Assembly.
• On the basis of a recommendation from the Crown Land Unit, approved an application by Caicos Resort Villas Limited to subdivide parcel 60000/659, 60000/660 and 60000/662 North West Point Providenciales;
• Approved the introduction of an application fee of $150 for the approval of special dispensations made pursuant to section 6 (11) of the Insurance Ordinance;
• Received an update from the Minister of Government Support Services on the establishment and implementation of the Carnival Infrastructure Fund. This is a joint fund between Carnival Cruises and TCIG. Cabinet noted the revised Letter of Understanding that makes provision for the establishment of an Infrastructure Board incorporating the involvement of members from across the community of Grand Turk. The total available funding for infrastructure projects in Grand Turk is $2m;
• Considered a paper presented by the Minister for Environment and Home Affairs proposing the establishment of a Community Conservation Partner Program. The program will encourage partnership (working) between members of the community and DEMA in environmental stewardship. Cabinet approved the proposal in principle and requested further information on the policy intentions and operations going forward;
• Approved that TCIG enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the US and put in place an administrative legal regime for the automatic exchange of information. This will be based on the requirements of the Foreign Account Tax Provisions (commonly known as FATCA) contained in the HIRE Act 2010 which is US legislation aimed at reducing tax evasion by their citizens;
• Taking account of further advice from the Minister of Border Control and Labour and the Attorney General following the 19th meeting of Cabinet on the 4th September 2013, Cabinet approved an amendment to the Immigration Regulations to permit Permanent Residence Certificates to be granted to certain categories of investors; the commencement date of the amendment is 15 October;
• Considered a paper from the Minister of Finance regarding establishment of Credit Unions within the Turks and Caicos Islands. Cabinet requested (on the basis that the proposal presents no liability to TCIG) that a clear policy document be developed, including consultation with the Financial Services Commission and returned to a future Cabinet meeting for further consideration;
• Noted that the following ministers will be absent from the islands on official business:
- Premier - 22nd - 24th September, 2013;
- Minister for Government Support Services 21st - 24th September 2013;
- Deputy Premier, 6th - 12th October 2013
- Minister for Health and Human Services 8th - 14th October 2013.
Further information on these matters will be provided by ministers in due course.