TCI News

TCI: Parliamentarians approve more money to tune of $685,806 for Police, Prison and half a million goes to Repatriation

#Providenciales, March 21, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – The Contingency Fund will finance the request from the Turks and Caicos Police, the Immigration Department and Her Majesty’s Prison for extra money this fiscal year.

Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Doug Parnell on Monday presented the First Supplementary Estimates for 2018/19 which amounts $685,806; it was approved by Members of the House of Assembly.

“The Estimates before the Committee were contingency warrant number one additional funding for repatriation costs at $500,000 for the Deputy Premier’s office and Ministry of Border Control and Employment Services; contingency warrant number two additional funding for prison rations and discharge allowance, Ministry of Home Affairs and contingency warrant number three, additional funding for repairs to the police building,” informed the Chairman and Member for Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill.

Hon Parnell said the Supplementary was cost-neutral.

“…funded through funding from the Contingency fund, currently the Contingency Fund we learned is set at $3,514,194 out of a budget of $4.2m.”

In his report on the Supplementary, it was explained that the lion’s share of the additional money was allotted to Border Control and Employment Services which made a case for half a million dollars more, to deal with illegal migrants.

“Mr. Speaker we learned that the Immigration Department and by extension the Ministry of Border Control and Employment was challenged and encountered daily with illegal migrants’ activities whether it was with through vessels, overstayers and persons engaged without the proper work permit.  These were ongoing critical concerns,” said Parnell who continued with, “We learned that this has widespread implications as it is generally associated with human trafficking and smuggling, the illegal arms and illicit trade with adverse social and economic impact.”

The report by the Chairman exposed that there were more sloops; four additional boats from Haiti came in during 2018.  There were 615 more illegal migrants apprehended in 2018, than in the year before and as to the cost to ‘house’ the detainees until they are processed and repatriated; the estimates say the public purse is paying a bill of $1,221 every three days of detention.

Hon Parnell said that the figures related to repatriations, according to the Department reflect a 292 percent increase in costs over 2017.

A smaller but significant portion of the supplementary will be directed to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police for to repair the roof at the Samuel Williams building in Providenciales; battered by the 2017 hurricanes.  The Committee and House of Assembly agreed to the request of $65,806.

Her Majesty’s Prison was confirmed for $120,000 at the Monday March 18 meeting of the House of Assembly.

According to the Appropriations Committee Report, $114,000 given the HMP is for food supplies and $6,000 was confirmed for the discharge allowance. 

The HMP Discharge allowance is a small payment given once inmates are done with their prison sentences; described as assistance to help them re-integrate into society.

The maximum allowance payment is $750.

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