#Providenciales, March 27, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – You can keep your fingerprints to yourself as the TCI Police Force has rescinded a controversial policy where residents were forced to present fingerprints as identification in order to collect police records.
That policy, after only two weeks on the books, is now withdrawn announced by Acting Police Commissioner, Trevor Botting as suspended.
“However, the concerns of the community have been acknowledged and I have made a decision to suspend the taking of fingerprints whilst a review of the process is undertaken. I thank the public for their understanding.”
It is a success story for residents who stood up on social media and in news reports and in the House of Assembly to say no to the new measure, which is actually illegal and infringes upon one’s constitutional right to privacy.
The Police explained they were going by the books and Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance but at least two lawyers, Mark Fulford and Ashwood Forbes gave strong public messages, telling people to refuse to give their fingerprints to Police.
Forbes going as far as to say he would take legal action against the Force if the measure persisted.
The Attorney General told the Police to shut the process down and acting PC today said in a media statement:
“In response to these concerns, the Force has considered the legal advice it sought from the Attorney General’s Chambers and, has decided to suspend the requirement to provide fingerprints with immediate effect as part of the application process whilst the legal requirements are clarified and implemented as necessary.”
House of Assembly member, Royal Robinson on Monday championed the cause and called on the Police to end the policy.
The Police introduced the policy on March 11, 2019 and today explained the reason as “The integrity of the RTCIPF Police Record system is of national importance. The recent changes are designed to enhance integrity by using fingerprints as part of the identity check of the applicant.”
It is still expected that the police records process will still be more expensive as of April 1, 2019; a cost of $40.
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Anya Williams, chaired the 19th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 22 June 2022 in Grand Turk. All other members were present.
At this meeting Cabinet:
- Approved the terms and conditions for an application from a land surveyor for a licence.
- Approved the making of the Revised Edition of the Laws 2021 (Commencement Order) 2022 subject to the approval of the House of Assembly; laws will be now be made available free of charge to members of the public on the Attorney General’s website. Physical reproductions will continue to be sold.
- Discussed proposed amendments to the Insurance Ordinance as drafting instructions to the Attorney General’s Chambers and consultation with the industry.
- Approved for the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022 to be introduced to the House of Assembly as soon as possible.
- Approved the revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Committee Budget for the Financial Year 2022/2023 for office furniture and supplies; confirmed annual payments for the annual membership costs to the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Agencies (FIA) and annual costs of the FIA’s travel costs for the Egmont annual meeting.
- Approved a three year rental lease agreement for the relocation of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Culture and Heritage, Agriculture, religious Affairs and Gaming, and the Tourist Board and Department of Culture in Providenciales.
- Approved a lease agreement for a temporary HQ for the Turks & Caicos Islands Regiment in Providenciales.
- Was updated on the proposed merger of NIB/NHIP Compliance and Collections. Further consideration was requested before Cabinet can take a decision.
- Noted the award of the following contracts in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Ordinance:
- PN 005600, TR 21/48, Furniture and equipment for Mental Health Facility – Grand Turk
- PN 005611, TR 21/30, Ballistic Vests for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force
III. PN 005614, TR 21/37, Bellefield Landing Civilian Safety Project – Safe Boat Slips
- PN 005627, TR 21/53, Furniture and Equipment for Public Works Programme Management
- PN 005630, TR 21/08, Vehicles for Government (resubmission)
- Approved for a request from American Airlines to waive the import customs duties and customs processing fees for replacement parts for an aircraft that had an emergency landing on Providenciales to be forwarded to the House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
- Noted a paper from the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) for legislative amendments to be made to the TCIAA Ordinance to regulate industrial action by employees of the TCIAA. Cabinet requested further consideration. Proposed amendments will be considered by the House of Assembly for approval in due course.
- Approved the grant of a long lease to an applicant for a funeral home and cemetery on 60003/231 PT (2.5 ACRES)
Turks & Caicos Islands Government retains it BBB+ credit rating
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – On the 29th of March 2022, Standard and Poor’s Global (S&P) released the results of the review of the 2021 sovereign credit rating for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). S&P has affirmed the country’s sovereign credit rating for long-term bonds, denominated in both domestic and foreign currency, of BBB+. Additionally, the agency also maintained the outlook as Stable for the TCI.
The Rating Agency advised that the stable outlook takes into account that the country’s economy will continue to recover given the strong performance of tourism and will improve in 2022. Furthermore, S&P believes the TCI will continue to adhere to prudent financial management and limit borrowing, and that fiscal reserve balances will increase during the next two years. Additionally, the rating agency also expects continuity in TCI’s institutional relationship with the U.K.
In its report, the rating agency advised that the rationale for the rating was a result of the Country’s institutional and economic profile. That is, the economic recovery led by resurgence in tourism and continued institutional stability. S&P indicated that despite the short-term pressures of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the TCI Government’s prudent actions, aided by the U.K.’s swift transfer of vaccines, allowed international travel to resume as early as the first quarter of 2021. The combination of the Government’s swift response, coupled with pent-up demand in key source markets, led to a strong recovery in tourism, which in turn, has led to a better-than anticipated economic recovery. S&P estimates GDP per capita to be $23,674 in 2021, up from $20,757 in 2020 – a 14% year over year increase. Tourism remains the core pillar of the economy, indirectly accounting for about 65% of GDP.
S&P indicated that the ratings could be revised upwards if better-than-expected GDP increases and continued favorable growth prospects were to substantially boost economic resilience. Additionally, the rating agency also stated that they could also raise the ratings if better availability of timely data, especially on external flows and stocks, were to boost transparency and indicated that TCI enjoyed a significantly stronger economic or external position.
However, if the rebound in tourism is interrupted or turns out to be weaker than expected, leading to prolonged stress on revenues, this may cause the TCI Government to run persistent fiscal deficits that could materially worsen public finances. This could lead to a down grading of the rating.
Commenting on the rating, Minister of Finance, Investment & Trade, Hon. E. Jay Saunders, stated that “I am happy and extremely proud that S&P saw fit to maintain our country’s credit rating at BBB+, particularly at a time when many countries had theirs downgraded – mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a testament to the strength of our economy, and particularly, our government’s prudent handling of it. We have taken particular note of S&P’s comment that they could raise the ratings on better availability of timely data, and we are working towards achieving that.”
Training Camps announced early as more can join the Footsteps4Good Challenge
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Last year’s participants were the first ones to ever circumnavigate the Turks and Caicos solely on manpower and this year they’re back again and with a broader vision for the challenge which is also a charity. It’s time for the second staging of Footsteps4Good and if you missed out last year you’ll want to get in on the event in 2022.
Coming up this October and organized by Governor’s wife Amanda Dakin , TCI Red Cross, OneTCI, and the Provo Road Runners, this year'’s adventure will span 13 days and 200 miles in an adventurous crossing of the islands and cays of the TCI once again. The organizers say there will be sections and stages to suit all abilities and fitness levels. Contributions will be nominal, from $20 for the stage being entered by any participant.
The announcement is going out early this year so that all the ‘fitness fanatics’ who want to take on the entire 13-day journey of hiking, rowing and extreme walking will be able to join the fitness training camps to get them ready for the physically grueling experience.
Organisers point out that not many people can say they have gone around the TCI just using their bodies; and they ask: ‘will you be one this year?’
For those who don’t want to try defying the odds, you can participate in single-day events on the family islands including run-walks, boating, and cycling or just making a financial donation.
For more information, you can email email@example.com
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