Cabinet Briefs (Feb. 9 & 16, 2022)

The content originally appeared on: The BVI Beacon

Governor John Rankin chaired virtual Cabinet meetings on Feb. 9 and 16. All members were present except Attorney General Dawn Smith, who was on annual leave. They took the following actions, according to a summary published in the Gazette on March 17.

Feb. 9

1. Considered and approved the bill titled Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) (Amendment) Act, 2022 and decided that the bill be introduced for its first reading in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting.

2. Decided that the tender process be waived for the following contractors to provide security services, meals and temporary lodging for people held in detention by the Immigration Department: Alfred Christopher dba “Hotel Castle Maria;” Top Priority Security Services Limited; D’Urville O. Carty dba “Top Brass Security Services;” Triple A Security Inc.; Elton Leonard dba “Bobby’s Market Place;” and Thecla Hopkins dba “Freedom Book Café”; and

• noted that requesting a waiver of the tender process in these instances is unavoidable as the need occurs spontaneously and is therefore unforeseeable and unplanned; and

• decided that the funding for associated costs for temporary lodging, security services and meals be provided via supplementary appropriations in the amount of $1,368,700, which is to be regularised in the next Scheduled of Additional Provision.

3. Noted the main findings of the Covid-19 HEAT Report – Human and Economic Assessment of Impact – British Virgin Islands.

4. Approved two applications to use the seabed for the installation of mooring buoys in the following areas: Saba Rock (North Sound) by S.R.-R. Limited (formerly known as Saba Rock Resort Company Ltd.) and Mooney Bay Blue Ocean, Limited.

5. Reviewed and accepted the 2020 annual report for the Land Registry Department and decided that it be laid on the table in the HOA at the next convenient sitting.

6. Considered and approved the bill titled NonProfit Organisations Act, 2022 and decided that it be introduced in the HOA for its first reading at the next convenient sitting.

7. Approved eight non-belonger land holding licence applications.

Feb. 16

1. Approved the re-appointment of Jasen Fahie and Pearl Smith to serve as members on the BVI Electricity Corporation Board in accordance with Section 6(1) of the BVIEC Ordinance (CAP 277), for a period of one year with effect from Feb. 23, 2022 to Feb. 22, 2023.

2. Approved an amendment of the Covid-19 Economic Stimulus: Waiver of Stamp Duty on the Sale or Transfer of Property to Belongers on the instrument of sale or transfer to a firsttime property owner for a period of not less than one year; and

a. decided that the Ministry of Finance instruct the Attorney General’s Chambers to amend the CAP 212 Stamp Duties Act and the Statutory Rates, Fees and Charges Act, 2005, as appropriate, and draft the requisite resolution; and

b. instructed the financial secretary to submit a report to the Cabinet on the “special exemptions” on stamp duties in one year’s time after implementation.

3. Noted the information provided as it relates to shark research currently ongoing in the waters of the VI.

4. Approved three non-belonger land holding licence applications.