TURKS AND CAICOS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT
His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 28th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 5 October 2022 at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales.
All Members were present, with the exception of the Hon Minister for Education who is out of the country.
At this meeting Cabinet:
· Approved an agreement between the TCI and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas to facilitate policing support to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
· Confirmed its approval of the instructions of the National Security Council for a suite of draft Bills (the majority of which are currently out for consultation) reflecting targeted Criminal Justice reforms aimed at disrupting serious violent and gun crimes in the Islands including:
a) Higher sentences for possession of firearms and high powered firearms,
b) Empowering the RTCIPF to impose stop and search persons and vehicles suspected of criminal activity,
c) Empowering the RTCIPF to erect road barriers,
d) Extending periods of police detention for murders and firearms offences,
e) Anti-gang legislation to combat organised crime,
f) Court orders to stop a person’s anti-social behaviour,
g) Mandatory registration of new SIM cards to enable to identification of purchasers,
h) Imposing higher sentences for assaults on Police, other law enforcement, the TCI Regiment, and judicial officers as well as officers of the court,
i) Judge authorized interception of communications to assist police in gathering intelligence around suspected criminal activities as an aid to criminal investigations.
j) Prosecution’s right of appeal.
· Approved policy changes under the “First Time Homeowner Policy Program” to guide the reduction of stamp duty for TCI Islander Status Holders and British Overseas Territories Citizens, and for the program to be re-named “The Property Ownership Incentive Program”.
· Approved a business license in a restricted category for Zion Roots Farm & Ranch Bottle Creek, North Caicos.
Approved duty concessions on the importation of specific materials and goods, under the Refurbishment Policy, by Waterloo Hotel Management Limited for a refurbishment project at the Alexandra Resort & Spa.
Approved a new TCI Government Vehicle Policy ensuring the effective use and management, monitoring and future procurement of the TCI Government’s fleet of vehicles for the sole purpose of delivering government programs and services.
· Approved the TCI Ports Authority Supplementary Appropriation 2022-23 to meet urgent and unforeseen expenditure including but, not limited to, professional consultancy, maintenance and the South Caicos Port rehabilitation.
Approved the waiving of Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism Tax for specified accommodation being provided in support of foreign government officials deployed to assist TCI with serious crime issues.
· Confirmed its approval of a series of measures to allow for the urgent remediation of the beach bordering the Grand Turk Cruise Center following damage incurred as a result of Hurricane Fiona.
· Confirmed its earlier approval of a fuel factor stabilization proposal for the TCIG to pay the cost of any increase in the current fuel factor rate charged to residential customers for the period September to December 2022.
· Confirmed its earlier approval of the TCI Sports Commission Supplementary Appropriation 2022-23 to allow for the management and maintenance of the Felix Morley Community Centre and the provision of sports, recreational and educational programs and activities.
· Received a presentation from the MRVL Spa on the use of products from live non-indigenous animals for the development of spa products. Members agreed next steps.
· Was updated on issues related to the Ministries of:
2. Finance, and