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Anya Williams, MBE sworn in as Interim Governor of Turks & Caicos  



By Dana Malcolm  

Staff Writer



#TurksandCaicos, March 31, 2023 – As the country hovers between British appointed governors, the reins are now in the capable hands of Anya Williams; she has been sworn in as the interim Governor much to the delight of her family and well-wishers.  

Williams was sworn in on March 29 at St Monica’s Anglican by her predecessor, former Governor Nigel Dakin, to a resounding round of applause from residents and country leaders.

Williams had an audience this time as she stepped into the role of head of state, but it is a position she has held time and again during her 10 and a half years as Deputy Governor. In fact, she has spent 885 days of that time as Acting Governor when British Governors were out of the country, she told the gathered guests.  

Taken together, they give her more than two years of service as an Acting Governor, a tenure equal to and in some cases outstripping the tenure of the four Governors she has served under Dakin himself.  

Citing her family as her strength, Williams, who is only the second Deputy Governor in TCI history and daughter of Pastors Dennis and Deborah Swann said, “Leadership is not easy. It requires a lot of support both on a professional and a personal level and so today, I last but most importantly must express my profound thanks.”

She took the time out to acknowledge her husband, Darren; children, parents, siblings, aunts, and extended family. Tearfully, Her Excellency Williams remembered her younger brother Brandon, who passed away after a car accident in October 2021. 

Williams has been retained as Deputy Governor for over a decade now, a vote of confidence from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, which oversees the process. 

It is this same office which in 2018, under then Governor Dr. John Freeman, recommended Williams, who is also a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance, for the Queen’s Birthday Honours granting her an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) and affording her a meeting with the Royal Family, due to her bestowal. 

At the time, Freeman said: “This is richly deserved and as the citation states, has been made in recognition of her services to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Those services are notable.  The Deputy Governor continues to exhibit exemplary dedication to her duties, demonstrating the strong leadership that she displayed following the passage of both Hurricanes Irma and Maria which was commended by myself, the UK military, and NGOs present.” 

Many islanders agree with this characterisation of the Grand Turk native and in their reasoning have said Williams is well equipped now to not merely act in the role of governor for these islands and cays over short periods, but to possess the job outright.  

Turks and Caicos will welcome its first female governor in a few months.  Until then, Anya Williams will steer the ship from the Office of the Governor until June 29, when Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam will take up her new post in the TCI. 


GRETHEN BEEN appointed as Head of Secretariat  



#TurksandCaicos, December 5, 2023 – The Office of the Deputy Governor is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Grethen Been to the post of Head of Secretariat in the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services.

Ms. Been is a proud native of the serene Salt Cay and brings with her a wealth of experience from a fruitful career at the National Insurance Board in Grand Turk.

Her educational foundation flourished in the Turks and Caicos Islands, earning her an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College in 2002. Advancing her studies, she attained an Advanced Level Certificate in Administrative Corporate Secretaryship, collaboratively certified by the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College and the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, through distance learning in 2002. Furthering her career, she completed an Executive Diploma in Management focused on Social Security from the University of the West Indies – Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados in 2009. Her most recent academic achievement, a Master of Business Administration in Leadership and Sustainability from Robert Kennedy College – Cumbria University, was completed in 2023.

Ms. Been’s professional journey took root in September 1998 as a Clerical Officer in the Ministry of Health and Education, marking her dedication to public service. Transitioning to the Turks and Caicos National Insurance Board in March 2001 as a temporary Data Entry Clerk, she laid the groundwork for an illustrious career, spanning over twenty-two years, manifesting in various capacities. Her recent tenure as a Claims Adjudicator in the benefits department stands as a testament to her exceptional standards of performance, imbued with a profound sense of accountability and trust earned through her steadfast dedication.

Reflecting on her path, Ms. Been said:

“It was Mac Anderson who wrote, “your dreams are blueprints of your soul. They should take you by the hand and lead you to your life’s purpose and passion. They are one of, if not the greatest, source of self-motivation that you have. So, nurture them and feed them inspiration whenever you can”.

God is faithful, He did it. I acknowledge His handy work as I continue my quest to fulfilling what I deem as His plan and purpose for my life.

To Her Excellency Anya Williams and the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I am humbled and honoured to be afforded the opportunity to give of my talents and abilities in service for the greater good of the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service. I am excited about the rewarding possibilities that will continue to manifest themselves on this leg of my professional journey and likewise look with great hope and optimism to traversing the rough terrains and challenges that may lie ahead. I have an assurance that, “the will of God will never take me, where the grace of God cannot sustain me” – Billy Graham. Also, “Being confident of this, that He that began a good work in me, will carry it through to completion until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippian 1:6.

Of significant importance to my achievements are my late parents to whom I pay special homage; my father who was always enthused about our educational and professional advancement, being my constant push and encouragement, and my dear mother who taught me the importance of affectual fervent prayers and whose prayers are the bedrock of my survival and success. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it to them.

Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams, in extending congratulatory remarks to Ms. Been, stated:

“It gives me great pleasure to officially announce and to congratulate Ms. Grethen Been on her appointment as Head of Secretariat within the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services and welcome her back to the core public service.

Heads of Secretariats are essential to ministry operations. They are responsible for the overall office administration, safety, and operations for key government services within their respective ministries and work closely with their Minister and Permanent Secretary to ensure the appropriate carriage of processes to achieve ministry objectives.

Having dedicated her life to public service, Ms. Been is no stranger to government operations and financial management.

We wish her well on her appointment and look forward to supporting her in her new role.

Congratulations Ms. Been!”

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TCI Gov’t announces $18 Million Pay Increase for Civil Service  



Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 


#TurksandCaicos, December 5, 2023 – With bated breath, thousands of residents were clung to every word from the three top TCI officials managing the multimillion dollar salary review of Public Sector staff. In a Monday morning press conference broadcast live, all 1,919 workers learned they’re getting a minimum 10 percent increase in pay.

Undoubtedly heartening for significantly more civil servants, Anya Williams, Deputy Governor with oversight of the public sector revealed an up to 40 percent salary hike beginning this month.

It will cost the government $18.2 million to implement this first phase which will be seen in December paychecks.

The increase follows the government’s agreement to recommendations made during the 2023 Pay and Grading review, the first in 10 years.

“This is the largest single-phase increase ever implemented by the Turks and Caicos Islands government,” said Anya Williams, Head of the Public Service and Deputy Governor during the December 4 National Press Conference.

The Education Ministry got $3.9 million of the $18 million dollar budget for 374 workers.

The Health Ministry got $1.8 million of the budget for 173 Health Workers.

The Frontline Workers got $3.2 million of the budget for 378 workers and $1.7 million for 209 Senior Frontline Officers.

Police Officers got $1.4 million of the budget for 317 workers and Support Staff got 800,000 for 117 workers in that category.

Provo Allowances, Duty Allowances, and Child and Professional Allowances will all be added to the salaries of qualifying workers along with their increases. Williams broke down the increases by percentage and gave examples of what the salaries in each sector would look like across 11 levels or grades of staff from lowest to highest.


Trained teacher’s salaries will increase –  12.8 percent

Graduate Teachers –  25 percent for a base pay of $48,320 yearly

Heads of Department – 29.9 percent for base pay of  $56,037 yearly

Vice Principals – 42 percent $66,610 yearly

Principals – 57.1 percent $79,178 yearly

Williams said with this sizable shift, Turks and Caicos Educators are now among the highest-paid in the region.


Community Health Aides –  28.9 percent

Community Mental Health Nurse – 28.6 percent

Registered Community Health Nurse – 27.4 percent

Registered Nurse Midwife –  20.8 percent

Medical Officers – 22.9 percent

Along with their increase, Health workers will get a new pay grade structure

Frontline Staff 

Staff in Grade Five (Immigration, Customs, Prison, Fire, Road Safety, Fisheries) will get an increase of 28.3 percent for a basic salary of $38,691 plus additional allowances for immigration

Senior Frontline Officers (Grade 6) –  22.5 percent increase for a base pay of $46,992


District Constables – 18.8 percent increase

Constables – 12.2 percent for a base pay of $37,748

Sergeants – 12.8 percent for a base pay of  $49,528

Inspectors – 12.6 percent for a base pay of $56,037

Asst Superintendent 13.6 percent for a base pay of $63,400

Superintendents – 17.7 percent for a base pay of  $73525

The increases are in addition to raises and allowances given just last year.

Support Staff  

Support staff (Grade 4) including administrative assistants get a 27.3 percent increase for a base pay of $32,550.


The four employees classified as Grade two (2) staff will get a 40 percent increase and the 37 staff in Grade three (3)including Clerical Assistants get a 38.7 percent increase.

Additionally, 123 Senior Staff in Grade seven (7) will get a 19.1 percent increase; 93 staff in Grade eight (8)16.5 percent increase; 67 staff in Grade nine (9)  receive a 13.9% pay increase. Also, 34 staff in Grade 10 will receive a 13.8 percent pay increase.

The Members of the House of Assembly also got an undisclosed increase.

The National press conference was watched well by well over 700 viewers who left almost 500 comments in the space of an hour, the vast majority were extremely pleased with the announcements, especially the new pay scale for teachers.

Initially, the objectives of the pay and grade  review were to:

  • Create a proper pay and grading system
  • To create a reward-based system
  • To ensure pay is equitable
  • To ensure that overall pay levels, structure of payment, and terms and conditions are competitive
  • To create a sustainable system within the budget
  • To ensure the system is transparent and fair

With the increase in size and level of responsibility of the public service salaries were found to be far too low.

“The current levels of pay in the public service [were not] commensurate with the roles that staff play or with resident living conditions,” Williams said. The report also found that pay for public sector employees was ‘Significantly lower than other government statutory bodies, the private sector, and the region’ resulting in the welcome increase.

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Caribbean News

CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).


In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”


The priorities stated under the agenda are:


  1. Curbing emissions to limit global temperature

increase to 1.5 ̊C


  1. Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and

loss and damage


  1. Improving access to and delivery of climate finance

for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach


  1. Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience


  1. Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,

sustainable and resilient development


  1. Promoting gender equity and social inclusion

approaches to climate action


  1. Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as

core to the climate response


  1. Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered

approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice


The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.


Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.


“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”


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