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TCI: Constitution Review committee Public Meeting

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#Providenciales, October 14, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – By a Joint Press Statement on Wednesday 2nd October 2019, the Hon. Premier Mrs. Sharlene Cartwright Robinson and the Hon. Leader of the Opposition Mr. C Washington Misick OBE, on behalf of the governing PDM and the Opposition PNP announced the appointment of a Constitution Review Committee formed to conduct consultations throughout the Islands on proposed constitutional changes to our constitution.

The Members as announced were: 

Hon Sean Astwood, Deputy Premier

Hon Douglas Parnell, Elected Member for Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill

Hon Akierra Missick, Elected Member for Leeward and Long Bay and

Hon. R Donhue Gardiner, former Minister for Border Control

On Friday 4th October 2019, the Hon. Premier and the Hon. Leader of the Opposition on behalf of their respective political parties, appointed Mrs. Rhondalee Braithwaite Knowles OBE, QC, Hon. Attorney General to be the Chair of the Constitution Review Committee and this was subsequently publicly announced in the House of Assembly on Monday 7th October 2019. 

The Attorney General has not been involved in the discussions between the parties and the proposals are not those of the Attorney General.  The proposals being consulted on are those agreed by the two political parties to be put to the public for consultation.  The Attorney General is supported by the Principal Legislative Drafter in the Attorney General’s Chambers, Ms. Desiree Downes MBE.

Both the Hon. Premier and Hon. Leader of Opposition are assisting the Committee in their consultative from time to time.  The Premier’s Office is facilitating the work of the Committee. 

The remit of the Committee is to:

1)           Reintroduce the public to the current proposals before the UK;

2)           Educate on areas of proposed new submissions and

3)           Receive recommendations.

The work of the Committee began on October 7th, 2019 with a town hall meeting on Grand Turk and the Report will be completed by October 31st, 2019.  Once the Report is completed, it will be forwarded to HM Government and a TCI Delegation will travel to make representations during the month of November.

The following public meetings are being held around the Islands:

October 7th                Grand Turk

October 11th              South Caicos 

October 16th              Middle Caicos and North Caicos

October 21st               Providenciales

October 25th              Salt Cay

The work of the Committee follows earlier submissions for constitutional amendment in 2015 and in 2018.  The United Kingdom rejected the 2015 proposals and has invited the Turks and Caicos Islands to revisit what would be proposed on the basis of agreement between the political parties as to the final proposals to be considered by the UK before any further discussions.

Since that time, the Opposition and the Government met over the summer months and the Proposals submitted for consideration by the public are as a result of these meetings and these proposals have not all found agreement among the political parties but they have agreed to consult the public on them. 

The Committee welcomes written submissions from member of the Public by no later than 26th October 2019 on the email address consultation@gov.tc.

Release: TCIG

Caribbean News

Police De-Briefing with TCI Governor Daniel-Selvaratnam

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#TurksandCaicos#Anti-Crime, February 23rd, 2024 – De-briefing Acting Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre held a meeting with Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris, today (February 21st ) at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.

The debriefing was to discuss concerns raised by residents during last evening’s Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting at the H.J Robinson High School, Grand Turk. Commissioner Eyre expressed his deep appreciation to Her Excellency and Hon Morris for their attendance, saying that work was already underway to address the community concerns.

Commissioner Eyre said: “I acknowledge the challenges raised and wish to assure you that the Executive of the RTCIPF remains steadfast in ensuring the TCI is safe. We listened to your concerns, and I assure you that rebuilding trust and strengthening community-policing relations are top priorities.“

The RTCIPF has taken a holistic approach in the fight against crime. Increased visibility, greater stakeholder collaborations and ongoing dialogue forums to appraise you will occur. We are accountable to you.”

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Too much secrecy with Airport Tax increase says former Deputy Premier Sean Astwood

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Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicos#Tax, February 23rd, 2024 – “The TCIAA should not be allowed to announce and implement new or increased taxes or fees in this already difficult financial climate without more details,” says Sean Astwood, Former Deputy Premier regarding the increase in the  Airport Development Fee from $20 to $35 describing the increase as not proactive but premature.

Astwood said there were a number of questions that he believed every Turks and Caicos Islander should ask and have the right to know the answers to including ‘Why now?’

The Opposition PDM member pointed out that only one airport has international flights and it would soon undergo a change in structure, paired with the ‘unexplainable’ delay in the completion of the airport in South Caicos and the possibility of ongoing negotiations in relation to the one in North Caicos, he queried: ‘Why not wait to see what amount or step may be needed in facilitating services in these Airports before a hike in fees?’

“In this climate, taxpayers must have more information and the benefit of a complete picture from not just the TCIAA Chiefs but from the Premier himself. The people must know what the current earnings of the TCIAA is; how has the management of the Airports increased to warrant such a large increase; how much does it cost to operate all of these airports; what is the estimated increase in revenue and how will these monies be used,” the former DP said.

He also questioned the avalanche of resignations that had recently affected the TCIAA

“I have serious concerns with the Premier’s oversight of this matter knowing that the TCIAA is no doubt experiencing a major problem with the vast number of Turks and Caicos Islanders resigning from their positions including high level positions. This alone requires a more in-depth investigation.”

Astwood also demanded information about the ongoing canopy project at the Providenciales/Howard Hamilton International which should have been completed in less than six months but was running on two years.

“TCIAA has quickly developed a reputation for big spending recently and stalled projects. We need answers as taxpayers. Why now? How much do you intend to raise? How will it be used? The people deserve a response. In a “proactive” step, this information must be provided to the public before this increase is implemented,” he ended.

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Justice system instructed to improve coordination 

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Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicos#Violence, February 23rd, 2024 – Violence exploded in the Turks and Caicos between January 26 and February 2nd, and with signs pointing to the involvement of recently released convicts the National Security Council is on a mission to reduce the risk of flare ups when offenders rejoin society.

The Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and other criminal Justice partners have now been instructed to review how they coordinate with each other and complete their specific roles to support case progression. Assessments about public safety in respect to offenders during bail hearings are also to be given keen attention.

The NSC is also planning to engage with the Judiciary as part of this review to help with delivering verdicts in a timely manner,

Called after the January 26 killing in Grand Turk which allegedly involved a former inmate, the meeting gathered law enforcement and other partners so that the NSC could get a sense of how effectively they were working with each other to ‘secure criminal justice outcomes.’

“The NSC— sought briefings on the effectiveness of liaison between the RTCIPF, the office of the DPP and wider criminal justice agencies in respect of case progression, including the assessments made to public safety that inform representations at bail hearings,” a statement revealed.

The information detailing the January 30th NSC meeting was released on February 2nd.

With senior leadership from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), the TCI Regiment, TCI Border Force, HMP and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the room, the NSC looked into two incidents involving recently released inmates.

Two days after the meeting the NSC chairs had to be briefed again about another incident involving a former inmate where two men were left dead on February 1.

The Council headed jointly by Washington Misick, TCI Premier and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor says the risk reduction strategies discussed in the meeting NSC will seek to address HMP exit arrangements and risks to public safety.

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