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What is the role of the Turks and Caicos’ recently appointed Nat’l Security Permanent Secretary?

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Tito Lightbourne, Permanent Secretary of National Security

#TurksandCaicosIslands – The Turks & Caicos Islands Government is on January 23, 2020 announced the appointment of Tito Lightbourne as the Permanent Secretary of the new National Security Secretariat.

A media release explained that Mr. Lightbourne joined the Public Service in April 2007 as a Budget Analyst in the Budget Department subsequent to attaining a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from Florida International University in 2005 and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Nova South Eastern University in 2006.

Tito Lightbourne, TCI’s newest Permanent Secretary. Appointed to National Security in January 2020

Successively, Mr. Lightbourne then moved on to the Human Resource Management Directorate (formerly Office of Public Service Management) as a Human Resource Officer in 2009, Executive Administrator within the Office of the Chief Executive in 2010, Director-Democratic Services within the Office of the Deputy Governor in 2012 where he still serves today as Executive Director.

Coincidentally, Mr. Lightbourne’ s first appointment to the Public Service was under the supervision of the then Budget Director, Mrs. Anya Williams who is now the Deputy Governor for the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service and Mr. Lightbourne’ s immediate supervisor since both of their appointments in 2012.

Commenting on his new appointment, Mr. Lightbourne stated; “I am deeply humbled and honored to serve in the position of Permanent Secretary, as this is one of the most senior roles in the TCI Public Service. This role will specifically focus on developing and enhancing the National Security Infrastructure of the TCI under the remit of the National Security Council (NSC), equally reporting to the Governor and Premier. Moreover, this coordinated and meticulous approach to resolving matters of National importance is new to the TCI and will build on some of the existing inter-agency working groups, such as the Joint Law Enforcement Taskforce (JLET) amongst others.”

“In addition, I am also very grateful to the Governor’s Office, Office of the Premier and the UK for the work that has already been undertaken in this area and the support provided by way of a seconded National Security Advisor to TCI.”

Commenting on the appointment, Her Excellency, Deputy Governor, Anya Williams said; “It gives me great pleasure to formally congratulate Mr. Tito Lightbourne on his appointment as the Permanent Secretary of the new National Security Secretariat. Tito has served as the Executive Director of my office during my entire tenure as Deputy Governor and over the past 7 years has demonstrated sound professionalism and astute leadership in the carriage of his duties.

“As the Executive Director and Accounting Officer for the Office of the Deputy Governor, Tito held direct oversight responsibility for the Office of the Deputy Governor itself, the Contracts and Performance Management Unit, the Human Resource Management Directorate, the Training Unit and the Cabinet Secretariat. In addition, as the Senior Executive to the Head of the Public Service, he was responsible for engaging at a senior level with all ministries and departments across government to follow up ongoing delivery, performance and other initiatives matters across government, thereby giving him insight into the operations of the entire government.  He has led on policy and program development in a number of key areas as a member of the working group on Pay & Grading, Pensions and Gratuities and Procurement to name a few.  Has served as a key member of the Procurement Board.  Has been the Manager of the Civil Service Professional Development Fund since its inception and has been an all-around great team member and leader in his respective field.

“I am grateful to Tito for his service over the years and could not be more proud of his accomplishments. Congratulations on your well-deserved promotion Tito! I look forward to working with you in your new capacity as the Permanent Secretary of the National Security Secretariat where I know you will do extremely well!”

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A Natural Racing Experience Thrills Senses, Protects the Marine Environment and Producers Winners

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 27, 2022 – Human beings have been enamored with the ocean since the beginning of time and the robust tourism product of the Turks and Caicos is proof of that,  but only a few of us venture away from the sand to swim long, lovely laps in the ocean.

“It just somehow makes everybody a little friendlier; everyone is a lot happier when they swim in the ocean.” A founder of the annual Race for the Coch Eco Sea Swim, Ben Stubenberg, confessed that after swimming in the open water many people don’t want to go back to a pool because the (sea) water is “so perfect.”

This view may have a little something to do with the huge turnout for the Eco-Sea Swim races held on Saturday June 25 (2022).

Stubenberg, a swim instructor and avid open sea swimmer himself opened up to Magnetic Media about what it feels like to drive your body through the pristine waters, unencumbered, pushing your own physical limits for the most exhilarating exercise experience.

“All of your senses are engaged and you feel a connection with nature that you don’t get from standing on land.” He said, “This is something that you feel because there’s really no limits; its as far as you can go, it’s quite unlike a pool.  This is salt water, you float better…it’s engaging with nature in a way that you can’t otherwise do when you’re swimming in a pool.”

In its 12th year, “Race for the Conch” Eco-Sea Swim is a registered non-profit in the Turks & Caicos Islands. The organizers explained that proceeds from sponsorships and race fees go to support The Provo Children’s Home, local learn-to-swim programs, the Reef Fund, and initiatives to support special needs children in the family islands.

The 2022 staging pulled in 135 swimmers in its biggest ever showing, 13 of whom were children from the Turks and Caicos. Adult, teen and even preteen swimmers came from the US, Canada, The Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos to participate in four races:  A 2.4 mile; a 1 mile; a half mile, and a 100m kiddie race.

The top-ranked adults for the 2.4-mile races were Joseph Shields for the men and Alicia Uhl for the women.

Lenin Hamilton Jr and Taylor Schiffern won the one mile for men and women respectively and  Lenin Hamilton Jr and Celia Wolf topped the half-mile.

Over the years, organizers have maintained that they wanted to have a more environmentally conscious race.

“We decided that as part of the race we wanted to have a commitment to a more ecologically friendly race that was more in line with our philosophy of trying to make the earth and the ocean a better place…we take that part of it very seriously. It’s not just something added on because it sounds ‘trendy,” said Stubenberg.

There are several ways the organizers set out to do this.

Only reef-friendly sunscreen is allowed on the beach and they provide ‘Stream to Sea’ sunscreen created by a local partner company called ‘Whole Health”. Race for the Conch Eco Sea Swim also serves its refreshments in biodegradable containers, often the rehydration drinks are coconut water coming straight from coconut trees, with no packaging needed.

Additionally, even the coveted conch trophies and medals are made by local artist Stanford Handfield crafted from actual conch shells from the TCI’s slice of the Atlantic Ocean.

Though the race is not yet totally eco-friendly, Stubenberg hopes Race will evolve to having a  zero carbon footprint very soon.

 

Photo credit:  Photo by Paradise Photography

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Over 3000 Vehicles can be fined for wrong or no license plates says, DMV Director

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 27, 2022 – The grace period for incorrect license plates or vehicles partially outfitted with the new Turks and Caicos Islands license plates is over.  The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) last week issued a notice which warned that vehicle owners need to either collect their plates, order the proper plates or put on the license plates they already have at the front and rear of vehicles.

“Vehicles that are currently carrying plats that do not fit the description as outlines are not in compliance with the Road Traffic Ordinance.  Licensees are therefore asked to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles  to obtain the correct license plates immediately, failure to do so may result in drivers being ticketed,” said the notice.

Wilbur Caley, Director of the DMV said there are estimated to be over 18,000 motor vehicles in the islands and some 15,400 plates have been issued, with only around 180 plates to be collected in Grand Turk  and a few still waiting for their owners in Providenciales.

“Some of those or a majority of the remaining 3000 have not come in to renew or license their vehicles and are currently driving around with a red or other colour or no plate on their vehicle.”

This is against the law and carries a $300 fine, said Caley.

“We have sufficient plates to issue to persons.  WE have approval to issue temporary plates where we don’t have the substantive plate in stock,” explained the Director.

This is important to state as there was a time when the Road Safety Department could not keep pace with the demand for license plates once the new ones were introduced in 2019.  Road Traffic police officers would stop motorists without plates, view paper work to ensure there was payment and a licensed driver was awaiting their new plates, but now that grace period is over.

“There are a number of vehicle owners driving around that have not come in to have their plates changed.  We have stock to issue those plates.”

Office hours at the department are Monday through Thursdays, 8:30am – 3:30pm and on Fridays, the offices closes earlier at 3pm.

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Rules for Industrial Action proposed by TCI Airports Authority

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 27, 2022 – In the wake of a major shutdown at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS) on June 18 because of a sudden firefighters’ strike over wages and a narrowly avoided strike from security guards at the airport only days after, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government is making moves to ensure strike action is regulated.

In a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, June 22 the government said it noted a paper from the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority that requested that new laws be put into place to set protocols for industrial action.

The government has requested more time to consider any legislative amendments that will be made to the TCIAA Ordinance to regulate industrial action by employees of the company. It is almost a certainty that amendments to the bill will pass the cabinet stage as the government promised they would reach the house of assembly “in due time”

Whether the proposed amendments to the protocol for strikes would only apply to employees of the TCIAA or all public sector workers was not revealed, and the severity of the promised changes has not yet been revealed to the public but what is likely to be included is a clause prohibiting unannounced strike action.

Over the last decade, the TCIAA staff have had to resort to industrial action at least six times under both PDM and PNP administrations.

The Government says it is “committed” to fixing the issues, especially salary disparities at the airport.

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