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Turks and Caicos Islanders are being Marginalized by their own Government

Providenciales, 13 April 2023: Happening now, Two candidates were shortlisted for interim CEO of Our (Turks and Caicos Islands) DMMO. I am currently not aware of any Turks and Caicos Islanders who were shortlisted, nor if any applied, as this position was hardly advertised in our local media. What happened to the policy of first trying to recruit locally and then, if unsuccessful, looking overseas? It is alleged, that the person who will get the top position for the DMMO has already been identified and is known to some top TCI officials as well as some persons in the TCHTA. Who are the persons who did the shortlisting of candidates? Tell the Turks and Caicos people who were potential candidates from Our Country.

I know them both very well. Ms. Raquel Brown and Mr. Paul Pennicook - both are from Jamaica. They were Directors and/or senior tourism personnel when Mr. Lindsey Musgrove and I were Directors of Tourism. During our tenure, we were supported by senior staff members like Ms. Blythe Claire. Mr. Brian Been, Ms. Mary Lightbourne, Ms. Oneika Rigby, and a host of other well-trained and educated Turks and Caicos Islanders who were not directly employed by the Tourist Board, but tested and tried in the industry.

With all due respect to these two individuals, in most cases,these overseas candidates do not bring anything to the table that cannot be found locally. It shameful that in this day and age, Our People can so blatantly be overlooked for jobs in our country. Turks and Caicos Islanders should be outraged and not stand for it. We should be given first opportunities at jobs in our country when we are qualified for them.

These shortlisted candidates are already in TCI, staying at The Palms, on TCIG's dime for a final interview for the post. They are already living large on our dime. This administration advertised the position internationally before they placed it in our local newspapers, robbing our people of the adequate opportunity to apply for this position. In fact, we are unable to find an advertisement for the interm GEO position circulating in the TCI. It is clear that this PNP Administration and the TCHTA do not want any local to head the proposed DMMO. This Government is relinquishing control of the engine that drives Our Country’s economy and they are removing our people from being the decision makers and the face of Our Tourism. We must not take this lightly, as we will have little or no say in how fast or how far the engine of our economy is driven.

We are now being marginalized after a solid foundation on which to build our country’s Tourism was laid by the Tourist Board. Shame on this government.

Ms. Raquel Brown, Jamaica Tourist Board Mr. Paul Pennicook, Jamaica Tourist Board

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