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Government

DMMO money to stay private but directed by Government 

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 5, 2023 – The Destination Marketing and Management Organization is moving full speed ahead but some members of parliament are worried about how the organization will be monitored and how much return on investment the government will get.

The concerns were tabled during the Appropriations Committee where statutory bodies were called up to defend and explain their budgets submitted to the house, which made up the total budget for the 2023/24 financial year.

Wesley Clerveaux, Permanent Secretary of Tourism represented the DMMO as did Interim Director of the Tourist Board Miquel Swann and Diandra Been, Financial Controller at the Tourist Board.

The board is predicted to make up to 11 million next financial year (2024/25) from member contributions, a guest levy, and its own revenue streams when all collection models are properly set up.

Edwin Astwood, Opposition Leader in his capacity as a member of the Appropriations Committee queried how the finances would be monitored and whether TCIG will make any money from it

Clerveaux with assistance from Athenee Harvey-Basden, Permanent Secretary of Finance explained that by virtue of the DMMO being registered as a nonprofit, as well as it being a corporate entity it was not a statutory body and its funds would not go back to TCIG

“This is not the same thing as a typical statutory body,” was Clerveaux’s response; “All funds would have to be budgeted appropriately.  In other words the government is coming out with a Tourism Policy, and that policy will give guidelines on how these funds are to be used, so once there is a surplus to what was projected, it wouldn’t be called excess.  It would just be a surplus that can now be used more effectively.”

He maintained that any surplus would be used more effectively within the organization, rather than being added as income to the Government.

Harvey-Basden explained that there were ways the DMMO could be monitored.

“Quarterly assessments can be produced based on the contribution that the ministry provides.  They can in certain instances request how those funds have been expended.” She said,

She explained this would be similar to the system used for organizations like the Red Cross, or the Turks and Caicos National Museum where the government would get a brief summary.

Fears of many residents that the government had handed over management of the number one industry to were confirmed somewhat under questions from Astwood.

“Is it just the government partnering with a corporate entity or is this a government entity?” He queried

“I think by the nature of registering in a nonprofit organization, as it says, it is a partnership between the Government and private entities,” Clerveaux responded.  He did clarify that board decisions needed a ⅔ majority vote.

In response to what the government would get back from subvention the PS confirmed

“This is not a revenue generating stream for the government.  This is a partnership that allows the body to discharge— the policy mandate that the government would be designing and developing for it to execute.  It’s not a revenue department like Customs where you are expecting money to come in.”

The money going into the organization, including the tourist levy will be managed by the DMMO to carry out its main functions; those functions will be guided by the government via the said tourist policy.  TCIG will be able to streamline where the money goes but will not make a direct profit

“Let me be clear, it’s not that the DMMO is going to be developing businesses directly, it will support business.” Clerveaux said that support would be through marketing local product to tourists directly and the creation of standards to improve local businesses.

“Why isn’t that being done in the tourism department,” Astwood queried.   “That can be done easily inside that department. Why do we need a Corporation to do those things and to generate all this money leaving TCIG hands?”

Clerveaux indicated this was an issue re-policy which was developed by the Government but maintained there was an accountability clause and the Government policy would direct all spending.

Government

Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP

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#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role.Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders.Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence.It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off.  He was unable to secure that much backing.A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed.It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts.However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.

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Government

Ministry of Health and Human Services in Collaboration with UK Health Security Agency conducts Migrant Health needs Assessment  

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – The Ministry of Health and Human Services has partnered with a team from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) Public Health Programme to conduct a health needs assessment for communities in informal settlements throughout the TCI.  This project was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and has taken place through a series of consultations and meetings in order to assess health needs and propose recommendations to address gaps in access to health care.

A steering committee supported the preliminary discussions on developing the scope and direction for the assessment and included representation from the TCI from Dr. Dawn O’Sullivan, Dr. Camelia Clarke (Director, Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit), Mrs. Aldora Robinson (Former Director, Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit) and Dr. Nadia Astwood (Chief Medical Officer).

This project culminated in an in-country visit by a team which included: Annabel Grieve (Programme Management Lead), Dr. Amoolya Vusirikala (Public Health Registrar) and Allegra Chatterjee (Epidemiologist) with earlier support provided by Dr. Natalie Wright, Health Protection Lead and Consultant in Global Public Health with the UK Overseas Territories, Global Operations. The visit, which began on January 21st 2024 and concluded this week, saw a number of in-person consultations with key stakeholders across sectors, as well as community focus groups conducted in Providenciales and Grand Turk.

Following the visit, the team paid a courtesy call to the Hon. Minister of Health and Human Services, Shaun D Malcolm and the Executive Team from the Ministry of Health and Human Services, to provide a high level debrief and presentation of the preliminary findings of the assessment. Following further analysis of the findings of the visit, a final report will be submitted to the Ministry of Health and Human Services which will provide a number of conclusions as well as evidence-based recommendations for consideration by the Government.

Commenting on the visit, Hon. Shaun D Malcolm stated that “we welcome this support from UKHSA and FCDO with whom the Ministry of Health has enjoyed a close working relationship and technical support over the years, to formally assess the health needs of this population in order to ensure that the overall health of our population can be addressed in a holistic manner to ensure that universal access to health care is addressed.”

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Government

Conrad Forbes appointed Principal of A. Louise Garland-Thomas High School  

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – The Office of the Deputy Governor is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr. Conrad Forbes as the new Principal of A. Louise Garland-Thomas High School within the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport, and Social Services.

Mr. Forbes is a forward-thinking educational leader with a proven record of success. His journey in education began at Florida Atlantic University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2000 and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership in 2003. Additionally, Mr. Forbes is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry at Liberty University.

Mr. Forbes possesses a diverse skill set that includes instructional plan implementation, faculty development, school management, professional and ethical leadership. With over two decades of experience in education, Mr. Forbes has demonstrated his commitment to providing quality education and fostering positive learning environments. Throughout a notable tenure at Broward County Public Schools from 2006 to 2019, Mr. Forbes excelled as an Assistant Principal. He supervised educational programs for a Magnet Montessori Pre-K-8 school, initiated teacher mentor programs, and played a crucial role in curriculum alignment, faculty development, and fostering a cohesive school culture.

Mr. Forbes’s leadership journey continued as an Assistant Principal at Seminole County Public Schools, Bear Lake Elementary in Apopka, Florida, from 2019 to 2021. Here, he managed organizational processes, recruited effective faculty, and improved the learning environment, demonstrating a commitment to quality education.

Mr. Forbes expanded his impact by serving as the Dean of Students in the School Board of Osceola County from 2022 to 2023. Here, he successfully managed school operations, student discipline, and provided training to faculty on classroom management strategies.

Reflecting on his appointment, Mr. Forbes expressed, “It is with great humility and honor that I undertake the position of Principal at A. Louise Garland Thomas High School. With over twenty-three years of experience as an educator and administrator, I hold a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership. I have worked in both primary and secondary levels and in culturally diverse communities.

As an educator, I have always been committed to promoting a conducive environment that encourages student achievement. My family’s native land is the Turks and Caicos Islands, and I am eager to make a positive impact on my community. In my experience, building robust relationships with the school’s stakeholders such as staff, students, parents, and partners is a critical component of high-performing schools. Therefore, I intend to continue the proud traditions of A. Louise Garland Thomas High School by upholding established relationships and creating new ones.”

Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams, congratulated Mr. Conrad Forbes on his appointment, stating: “It is a pleasure to welcome Mr. Conrad Forbes to the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service as the new Principal of the A. Louise Garland-Thomas High School within the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport, and Social Services.

Mr. Forbes brings along with him a wealth of experience from the education sector in United Stated as well as experience from his work with young men through various programs. We know that his presence at the high school will provide great value to the continued work of the school, and he will lead the charge to continue to strengthen the quality of education and learning at the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School.”

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