Connect with us

Bahamas News

BAHAMAS: Ministry of Finance Eyes More Aggressive Push on Ease of Doing Business

Published

on

#Nassau, November 9, 2018 – Bahamas – Ministry of Finance spearheads inter-agency working group working group to aggressively push forward ease of doing business initiatives

Following the Prime Minister’s mandate to make ease of doing business a top priority for the Government, the Ministry of Finance is spearheading an inter-agency working group to make business faster, cheaper and better in The Bahamas.

The incremental move in the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking is a welcomed sign that the Government’s initiatives are reaping benefits.  However, the target for the inter-agency working group is to see at least a 15% increase over the next few years, not just a 1% increase in the rankings.

The assessment undertaken by the World Bank is conducted every year based on ten focus areas that affect the life of a business.  The specific indices that are tracked and scored by the World Bank include the following: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, having an effective credit rating and tracking system, protecting minority investors, paying taxes easily, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

“Ease of doing business is a serious issue that has support and attention at the highest levels of government.  At the Ministry of Finance, we spearhead the inter-agency working group that is focused on driving change across government based on the focus areas assessed by the World Banks’ Global Ease of Doing Business Ranking,” said K. Peter Turnquest, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

The group consists of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Inland Revenue, the Customs Department, the Department of Public Works, the Central Bank of the Bahamas, the Registrar General’s Office and the Securities Commission.

“The ultimate test is whether people feel the impact of the changes on the things that matter most to them, but we are also using the global ranking as a benchmark because it uses objective and quantifiable measures of progress and it assess our performance against 190 economies across the world.  Internally, our working group is employing a data-driven approach to tracking progress and decision making, modeling this best management practice for government,” said Minister Turnquest.

“We started this project several months ago. And as the New Year unfolds, we will be rolling out a number of significant initiatives that will have a positive impact on the daily lives of businesses and help us to continue our climb on the global ranking list,” said Minister Turnquest.

Bahamian businesses have to interact with the Government on a daily basis to trade goods across the border, to pay taxes, to apply for various approvals, and a wide range of transactions.  The Ease of Doing Initiative of the Government is not just focused on the elements scored by the World Bank.  It is also paying necessary attention on making all business and customer interactions with government easier, faster and better.

“We plan to alleviate frustration around the lengthy time it takes to start a new business; the time it takes to get a construction permit; the hoops you have to jump through to access credit, among other priority areas.  There are certain structural changes that have to take place to advance these efforts fully, but there are also short-term steps we can and will take early in the New Year to relieve some of these pain points,” said Minister Turnquest.

“Simple changes such as improving the flow of communication between government service providers and the public; or digitizing processes such as applying for a revenue exemption or applying for a construction permit,” Minister Turnquest continued.

The public will hear more about the Government’s plans and will be invited to provide feedback on the various initiatives.

 

Press Release: Ministry of Finance.

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases

Published

on

October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at: https://www.carpha.org/Projects/Ongoing-Projects/Strengthening-Strategic-Intelligence-and-Partnership-Approaches-To-Prevent-and-Control-NCDs-and-Strengthen-Regional-Health-Security-In-The-Caribbean

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes

Published

on

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  14 October, 2021.  In the Caribbean, the leading causes of blindness are glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes).  According to the Vision Atlas, 6.2 million persons in the Caribbean were reported to have vision loss, with an estimated 260,000 persons reported to be blind in 2020.

Information gathered from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) with a population of 44 million, showed that the crude prevalence of blindness was 0.60%, and the prevalence of all vision loss was 13.20%. Many of the persons affected were females at 52%.

Global statistics reveal that for 2020, a total of 596 million persons had distance vision impairment worldwide, of this number 43 million were blind.  Projections for 2050, indicate that an estimated 885 million persons may be affected by distance vision impairment with 61 million expected to experience  blindness.

CARPHA’s vision for the Caribbean is a region where the health and wellness of the people are promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby enabling human development in keeping with the belief that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region.

Although there are no projects that directly address vision impairment, CARPHA in collaboration with its public health partners is implementing initiatives to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets, use of harmful substances and poor physical activities. This in turn, will help reduce the risk of disability due to complications associated with poor blood sugar and blood pressure management.

Efforts to improve the standards of care for diabetes through the implementation of the CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean, and training of health care workers from the CARPHA Member States will also contribute to the prevention of vision impairment and blindness due to diabetes.

Access to eye care services can reduce visual impairment.  CARPHA urges Member States to strengthen health systems to improve eye health services with emphasis on reaching the vulnerable and those most in need.  Governments should commit to integrating eye care into the universal health care system.

World Sight Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.  The focus of the day is to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue and blindness prevention.

The 2021 commemoration observed on 14th October, seeks to encourage persons to think about the ‘importance of their own eye health.’

Our eyes are working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been indoors, in front of our screens, and probably missed our eye test appointments. Now more than ever, we need to protect and prioritize our eyesight. There are simple things you can do for yourself to prevent the development of serious eye issues:

  • Take screen breaks for at least five minutes every hour
  • Spend time outside.  Increased outdoor time can reduce the risk of myopia (near-sightedness)[3]
  • Get an eye test. A complete eye exam can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma before it has an effect on your sight. The earlier an eye condition is identified, the easier it is to treat.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and engage in physical activity. These are crucial steps in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling obesity, and preventing diseases such as diabetes, all of which can impact eye health.
  • If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes checked every year

Your sight cannot be taken for granted.  It is time to LOVE YOUR EYES!

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

RBDF Congratulates Retired Commander Defence Force on National Honour Award 

Published

on

#TheBahamas, October 13, 2021 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force congratulates Commodore Retired Leon Livingstone Smith, who was a recipient of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021. 

During a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street, Commodore Smith was presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith. Also in attendance were his daughter, Mrs. Italia Seymour, and the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King.

Commodore Smith was one of sixteen other deserving individuals recognized on National Heroes Day for the vast contributions they made to the development of the country. The first Bahamian Officer to be appointed as Commander Defence Force, he is the longest-serving Commodore to serve this office from 1983 to 1997.

Throughout his military career, he received numerous awards and accolades, and his career in public life spanned over forty years, and on September 19, 2014, an RBDF Legend Class Vessel bearing his name was commissioned. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is truly grateful for the devoted services of Commodore Smith to the organization and his country.

Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King extends congratulations on his behalf of the members of his Executive Command, Officers, Senior Enlisted, and Junior Enlisted members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, to Commodore Retired Leon Smith, on his great accomplishment.

 

Header:  Commodore Retired Leon Smith being presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

Insert: Commodore Retired Leon Smith along with recipients of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

(RBDF Photos by Able Seaman Paul Rolle II)

 

(For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on FacebookTwitter and view our Youtube channel) 

-rbdf- 

#GuardOurHeritage 

#MarlinSpike 

Continue Reading

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

TRENDING