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GRETHEN BEEN appointed as Head of Secretariat  

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#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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Government

Ministry of Home Affairs, Public Safety and Utilities and Telecommunications proudly Commissions the Yellow Wing

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 21st February 2024 – The long-awaited completion and commissioning of the Yellow Wing at the Department of Correctional Services took place in Grand Turk yesterday.

The event was attended by a number of Government functionaries; including Her Excellencies, the Governor and Deputy Governor, Ms. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Mrs. Anya Williams respectively, the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Charles Washington Misick, Attorney General, Hon. Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, as well as the Minister for Home Affairs, Public Safety and Utilities and Telecommunication’s Commission, Hon. Otis Morris.

Hon. Josephine Connolly, Minister for Tourism, Permanent Secretaries, Mrs. Bridgette Newman, Mr. James Astwood and Mr. Miquel Swann, newly appointed interim Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Eyre, Chaplains of the HoA and the Prison, along with staff of the Public Works Department, Department of Correctional Services and Olympic Construction were also in attendance.

The reconstruction of the Yellow Wing commenced in May 2020, following destruction of the building by fire in 2019.

The ceremony was chaired by Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Clyde Greene. Among the officials who brought remarks, were, the Superintendent, the Minister, the Deputy Governor, the Premier and the Governor; all of whom expressed their delight in being able to participate in and witness the commissioning.

In his remarks, the Superintendent of the Department of Correctional Services, Mr. Michael Woodbine expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Government and Ministry for the additional funding received by the Department, to assist with the resolution of a number of longstanding issues.

He went on to note, “The key function of the prison is not only to protect the public by keeping those who pose a risk out of society, but it also has a wider role to play in supporting law enforcement”

He further highlighted some of the Department’s community activities, support given in various areas and his department’s plans for the year.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Public Safety and Utilities and Telecommunication’s Commission, Hon. Otis Morris in his remarks stated, “Today marks a significant milestone, as we gather to celebrate the completion of the Yellow Wing. This project has been a collaborative effort; which demonstrated my Government’s commitment to providing a safer and more humane environment for inmates and staff alike.” 

Hon. Morris went on to note that the improvements made to the Yellow Wing would not only enhance the living conditions for inmates but would also contribute to the overall rehabilitation and well-being of those in the Department’s care.

In conclusion, he encouraged all to continue to work together to uphold the highest standards of safety, security and rehabilitation within our correctional facilities.

Following the hand-over of the keys, cutting of the ribbon and blessing of the building; attendees were treated to a Control and Restraint mock exercise to remove a non-compliant and violent person from a cell.

The team demonstrated the manner in which they calmly manage these very difficult situations, trying their best to de-escalate the person’s heightened mood and aggression. The Exercise was well received and the team was highly commended for their negotiation and team work skills.

The ceremony ended with the Vote of Thanks by the Deputy Superintendent Mr. Raymond Grant.

The Department of Correctional Services with the of support of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development will continue the upgrade of the facilities at the Department of Correctional Services with the works to the Blue and Green wings.

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Caribbean News

Deputy Premier Spot on, TCI TODAY Removed from EU Blacklist

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Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

#TurksandCaicosIslands – February 20, 2024Sixteen months after being added to the European Union’s Black List for non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, the Turks and Caicos Islands is now off that list.

“Today,the Council removed The Bahamas, Belize, Seychelles and Turks and Caicos Islands from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.”

The release explicitly states that in the case of the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, “ever since October 2022, deficiencies in the enforcement of economic substance requirements had been identified in both of these jurisdictions by the OECD Forum of Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP).”

It was recommended for remedy to the deficiencies has now been “converted from hard to soft recommendations,” said the statement.

That pivot was fundamental in the de-listing of the two countries said the information from the Council.

“…which allowed the Code of Conduct Group to consider these jurisdictions with no or only a nominal corporate income tax.”

When Magnetic Media spoke to E. Jay Saunders, Turks and Caicos Deputy Premier and Finance Minister in March 2023 he had full confidence that it was only a matter of time before the TCI was given a more favourable position with the EU. 

“There is no question about it. I’m confident that by February 2024, we will be off the list– I’m completely confident and there are no lasting repercussions.”   

 It had been sub-par computer systems that landed the TCI on the list.  The Deputy Premier, at the time offered that the EU was being too dramatic and its language, disproportionate surrounding the issue. 

That black listing and gray listing is often viewed as a black eye in the financial services sector, therefore this announcement today is vindication for the TCI and a huge plus for the Fintech ambitions of the Misick-led government.

 Twelve others remain with the unsavory categorization including Caribbean neighbours: Trinidad and Tobago; US Virgin Islands; Anguilla and Antigua and Barbuda.

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Government

Repatriation and Security, how TCIG spent the money

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicosIslands, February 14, 2024 – Repatriation and other exportation costs are 66 percent higher for the first three quarters of the 2023/24 financial year (April to December) than they were in the same period of the 2022/33 year. 

The Q3 Financial Report tabled in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, February 6 revealed the cost of recurrent expenditure items including Repatriation.

Around $4.08 million was spent to send irregular migrants back home between April and December 2023. The figure does not include the interceptions between January and March 2023, those would have been counted as a part of the previous financial year. Total costs will be revealed in April of 2024 when the current financial year ends. For Q3 alone (October to December) $1.264 million was spent on these costs, $532,000 more than was spent in Q3 of the previous financial year. 

The already large figure comes as no surprise to residents who have been dealing with recurring instances of migrants landing on their shores and running through their yards all year. 

Conversely, the government drastically underspent the cash budgeted for security expenses with only $579,000 used from $1.4 million for the October to December quarter. It was in line with the trend seen all year as, only $1.6 million of the budgeted $2.9 million was spent between April and December.

Other than salaries, Social Welfare was the highest cost factor for recurrent expenditure with $1.8 spent in Q3 alone and $5.9 million for all three quarters combined. 

As for non recurrent expenditure, the SIPT trial and land purchases cost the government the most amount of cash, $1.6 million in Q3 alone and $5 million over all three quarters. 

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