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What About Nathaniel Handfield DMMO Rumours?

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, May 1, 2023 – The government left out one major rumour in their attempt to put all the miscommunication regarding the Tourist Board to rest at their recent press conference. This is the consensus from some TCI residents who say a decisive statement was needed to combat the now internationally shared reports of a new ‘private Tourist Board’.

The reports of a billionaire investor, Nathaniel Handfield pumping millions into an all new company ‘Best of Turks and Caicos Inc’ which claims it is aimed at marketing the Turks and Caicos, surfaced locally since mid-March.

The story, written by Handfield Enterprises, published on Accesswire and shared globally now by Yahoo News, quotes the mystery investor as creating the ‘first privately owned tourist board’ in the Turks and Caicos “...set to improve the country’s economy, and create a more profitable community for small businesses.” it goes on to say “With the leadership of Founder and CEO of Handfield Enterprises Inc., Nathaniel Handfield, they have put together a board of advisors consisting of 30 former senior government officials from the US, UK, and Caribbean.”

It then directly drags the government into the fray claiming Handfield is working along with them.

The board’s advisors will work with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government to provide the necessary resources and support to help businesses succeed.”

It seems contrary to the government’s plans to partner with a purported private tourist board as they launch a major push to set up their own Destination Marketing and Management Organization. Residents say officials were given the chance to distance themselves from the rumours and clarify their position on whether the company was legitimately registered, but instead, they ignored the issue and the rumours continue to make the rounds.

The government had in fact addressed the rumours prior telling the TCI Sun they were “working diligently to investigate certain claims made by the company, Handfield Enterprises, and its associated website “Best of Turks and Caicos”, and will “take all necessary legal actions against those responsible.”

However, Monday’s heavily publicised national conference may have been the ideal opportunity to reiterate the commitment or give an update.

The article claims that this company has had a direct hand in the success of the TCI Tourism Industry but the story has more questions than answers, the information available on Hanfield is flimsy at best. The same goes for ‘Best of Turks and Caicos Inc.’

Magnetic Media’s own investigation into the widely shared news report on March 17 turned up nothing, including a bogus US address.

The mystery man claims to be a Grand Turk native but his digital footprint is almost nonexistent.

Additionally under questioning via social media sites several individuals have emerged as ‘friends’ of the said-millionaire attempting to legitimise him. The copyright footer on the website lists the year of creation as 2022 and posts on Instagram and Facebook go back only as far as 2021. It claims to connect tourists to local businesses directly for free and lists a host of TCI Businesses from charters to hotels and invites other entrepreneurs to list their local business on the site.

Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism has described the site as misleading.

Caribbean News

Government Progressing with Plans to Build Seven STEM and STEAM Schools

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#MontegoBay, July 3, 2024 – The Government is progressing with plans to construct six Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Schools and one Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Academy.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says arrangements to build the STEAM school, being cited in Montego Bay, are “proceeding.”

“The land is acquired and the budget is in place from the Ministry of Finance [and the Public Service]. By the end of the year the Ministry of Education [and Youth] can give a timeframe on it,” he stated.

Regarding construction of the STEM Schools, Dr. Chang advised that  “we will be opening the first one in Portmore [St. Catherine] very soon.”

He was speaking during the University of Technology (UTech) Western Campus’ recent STEM Summer camp launch at the institution’s campus in Montego Bay, St. James.

The camp, being held in western Jamaica for the first time, will see some 100 youth from communities in Hanover, Trelawny and St. James engaging in several STEM-related activities.

For his part, Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) President, Oral Heaven, said Jamaica has been declared a ‘STEM island’, adding that the camp serves as testament to the country’s growing prominence in the global STEM landscape.

“This designation opens the door for so many things, through multinational STEM investments [and] real money for our people, positioning Jamaica as a hub of innovation and technological advancement,” he outlined.

Dr. Chang pointed out that there is “a legacy of STEM activity” in the west, noting that the Government is committed to expanding opportunities in the sector.

“It is imperative, therefore, that we attract some of these investments to Montego Bay”, adding that, “we must focus on the positives and potential solutions that STEM can offer.”

The STEM Summer Camp will be held in two phases for junior and senior participants under the theme: ‘Think, Collaborate and Innovate to Grow and Be Resilient’.

Junior participants will attend from July 8-19, and the older youth between July 15 and 26.

 

Contact: Serena Grant

Release: JIS

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TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS: NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL POST MEETING STATEMENT

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Monday, 1 July 2024: Her Excellency Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and the Hon. Premier Charles Washington Misick, co-chaired a meeting of the Turks and Caicos Islands National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday, 27th June 2024 at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales.

Also in attendance, the Hon. Deputy Premier, the Hon. Attorney General, the Commissioner of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), the Permanent Secretary National Security Secretariat (NSS), the Head of the Governor’s Office and the NSS Threat Lead.

Apologies were received from the H.E the Deputy Governor and the Hon. Minister for Immigration and Border Services.

Members were briefed by:

  • The Commissioner of Police on the current overview of policing operations and crime, including on the three (3) separate shooting incidents that resulted in four (4) fatalities in Providenciales between 21- 23 June 2024. These incidents are currently under investigation. NSC was also updated on two (2) ongoing safeguarding matters. The RTCIPF are actively pursuing persons of interest. Council discussed strategic approaches to strengthen Offender Management. Council was also updated on the multiagency response and successful rescue to the emergency ‘crash landing’ of a small aircraft inbound to the Howard Hamilton International Airport due to engine failure.
  • Members of the TCI/UK Joint Maritime Security Delivery Board on progress of the UK-funded project to install coastal surveillance radars and various wider maritime security enhancement initiatives which will significantly increase TCI’s Maritime Domain Awareness. The primary function of the TCI/UK Delivery Board is to oversee the current projects and to explore options for strengthening multi-agency collaboration along with identifying opportunities for training and capacity building.
  • Mark Fenhalls KC on his recently completed review of case progression with the criminal justice system. The review was commissioned by the NSC and supported by the UK Ministry of Justice. The focus of the review was to assess the current backlog of cases – particularly, serious violent crime and explore potential considerations to drive justice outcomes in a more expedient manner. Recommendations included wider adaptation of technology and case management systems, cross-training, increasing capacity and infrastructure development. The NSC commissioned an action plan against the recommendations to be taken forward in liaison with criminal justice partners.

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FINALISATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM PROPOSALS

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Turks and Caicos

 

  1. Today Her Excellency the Governor convened a meeting with the Honourable Premier, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Attorney General, Sir Jeffrey Jowell KC and the FCDO’s Deputy Director Adam Pile to finalise the package of constitutional reform so it may be submitted to the Privy Council in July. Also in attendance was Her Excellency the Deputy Governor.
  2. The bipartisan constitutional talks with the UK Government in Grand Turk (October 2023) agreed to move to a fully elected House of Assembly*, with four additional elected members replacing the members appointed by the Governor, Premier and Leader of the Opposition. In the wider package of constitutional reform, all other major issues have been agreed in further meetings and correspondence, bar the timing of a transition to a fully elected House of Assembly*.

Scope of work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission

  1. The Electoral District Boundary Commission was stood up in February to review in the first instance the boundaries of the electoral districts into which the islands are divided in line with s.61 of the Constitution. The Governor, in line with the agreement of the UK Government, has asked that they then assess options for the composition of the four additional elected seats. This work will need to be put out to public consultation and submitted to the House of Assembly, after which further work will be required to implement the approved changes.
  2. In order to deliver constitutional reform for the Turks and Caicos Islands this summer, the agreed package of reforms now need to be submitted to the UK Government so it may be made by His Majesty The King in the Privy Council in July.

Transition to an all-elected House of Assembly*

  1. Given this timing, it was noted that there are two options for the transition to an all-elected House of Assembly*:
  1. A transitionary phase that provides for an all-elected House of Assembly* at the forthcoming election with four additional ‘all island’ candidates for the next term, following which the further work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission will inform the composition of the four additional seats going forward; or
  2. Retain the status quo of four appointed members at the forthcoming election and wait to move to an all-elected House* until the subsequent election, following the work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission which will inform the composition of the four additional seats.
  1. Agreement was not reached at the meeting on which option to pursue.
  1. The Honourable Premier continues in his view that the transition to an all-elected House* should take place at the forthcoming election with the four additional elected seats contested on an ‘all island’ basis. This would be a transitionary phase, until the subsequent election where the work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission will inform what additional constituencies may be implemented.
  2. The Honourable Leader of the Opposition has confirmed his view that the transition to an all-elected House of Assembly* should not take place at the forthcoming election, that the status quo should be retained with four appointed members; and the move to an all-elected House of Assembly should only take place at the subsequent election, where the work of the Electoral District Boundary Commission will inform what additional constituencies may be implemented.
  1. In light of the need to provide a clear position to the UK Government, a motion will be tabled for debate in the House of Assembly to allow a full debate on when a fully elected legislature should be introduced.
  • other than the Attorney General

 

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