Cabinet Briefs (Jan. 17, 19 & 26, 2022)

The content originally appeared on: The BVI Beacon

Governor John Rankin chaired virtual Cabinet meetings on Jan. 17, 19 and 26. All members were present for all the meetings except Attorney General Dawn Smith, who was absent from the first two because she was on annual leave. Cabinet took the following actions, according to a summary published in the Gazette on March 14.

Jan. 17

1. Noted the Situation Report #42 presented informally by the Health Emergency Operations Centre Unified Command on Jan. 7; noted the Situation Report #43 presented by the HEOC Unified Command; and

a. considered and agreed that the cost of testing be waived for persons who are symptomatic with Covid-19 or who are contacts of cases presenting for Covid-19 rt-PCR and or a Rapid Antigen Test at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital during high incidences of positive Covid-19 cases in the territory;

b. noted that the human resource capacities for the Environmental Health Division, the Social Distancing Task Force, the Public Health Unit and the 911 Emergency Call Handling Centre would need to be strengthened to support the enforcement of the Public Health Measures;

c. considered and agreed to amend the entry criteria to recognise a certificate of clinical recovery from Covid-19 which has been executed by a licensed medical practitioner as sufficient for entry of people who have had Covid-19 within the past 90 days; and

d. decided that the Ministry of Health and Social Development instruct the Attorney General’s Chambers to draft the relevant amendments necessary to give effect to item (c) of the decision sought.

Jan. 19

1. Decided that a Hotel Aid Licence, with the current associated list of items as reviewed by the Her Majesty’s Customs, be granted to Tavolara Limited in accordance with the Hotel Aid Ordinance (Cap. 290) for a period of five years effective Oct. 1, 2021.

2. Approved the re-appointment of the following people, in accordance with Schedule 4, Section (3) of the Physical Planning Act, 2004 for an additional four months from Jan. 21 to May 22 to the Physical Planning Appeals’ Tribunal until the process for advertising is completed, and noted that the chairman be remunerated $500 per month and members $300 per month: Chairman Marvin Flax Jr. and members Kamika Forbes, Marva Titley-Smith, Bennet Smith, and Jerome Frett.

3. Approved the re-appointment of the following people in accordance with Schedule I, Section (3) of the Physical Planning Act, 2004 for an additional four months from Jan. 21 to May 22 to the Planning Authority until the process for advertising is completed: Deputy Chairman Lucien Thomas and members Clifton Thomas and Elvis Harrigan.

4. Decided that the Financial Services Commission be responsible for housing any publicly accessible register of beneficial ownership and urgently commence sourcing an estimate for including the same in its revamped VIRRGIN platform, VIRRGIN LEAP, to incorporate the functionalities for the receipt, update, confirmation of accuracy, maintenance and publicly accessibility of beneficial ownership information and that the financial secretary be designated as the person who would be the decision-maker where approvals are required from the government.

5. Decided that pursuant to the Articles of Association of the National Bank of the Virgin Islands Limited and subject to the approval of the Financial Services Commission, the banking regulator, the appointments of:

a. Tamara Maduro to the bank’s board of directors as nonexecutive director and chairman for three years with effect from Feb. 1 to Jan. 31, 2025;

b. Ivan Hudson Carr be renewed as non-executive director and member for two years with effect from Feb. 28 to Feb. 27, 2024; and

c. noted that a transparent process was used to fill the vacant position of chairman of the board as the position was advertised and applications vetted prior to selection of the candidate.

6. Reviewed and accepted the evaluation report submitted by the Central Tenders Board technical committee, which was approved by the CTB on Nov. 30, 2021; and accepted the CTB’s recommendations to award the following tenderers a contract for solid waste collection for a period of three years:

i. Zone one: Terry Smith dba T&S Trucking ($612,000);

ii. Zone two: Lance Thomas dba LMJ’s Backhoe & Trucking Services ($518,364);

iii. Zone three: Nicolas Scatliffe dba Outer Limit Trucking, Garbage Disposal & Water Delivery ($612,000);

iv. Zone four: D&R Heavy Equipment Services Limited ($659,476.80);

v. Zone five: Kerry Thomas dba Platinum + ($808,824);

vi. Zone six: Denco Limited ($599,400);

vii. North Sound, Virgin Gorda: Everad Creque dba Toots Solid Waste Collection ($270,000);

viii. Jost Van Dyke: EverReady Trucking Ltd. ($257,364);

ix. Anegada: Romalia Smith & Lenia Smith dba HRL Maintenance Services ($272,023.14); and

x. Virgin Gorda: to be re-tendered.

7. Considered and approved the bill titled Virgin Islands Food Security and Sustainability Act, 2022, which seeks to establish a management structure for agriculture and fisheries and promote food security and sustainability in the territory; and decided that the bill be introduced for its first reading at the next convenient sitting of the House of Assembly.

8. Approved one non-belonger land holding licence application.

Jan. 26

1. Reviewed and accepted the evaluation report submitted by the Central Tenders Board technical evaluation committee, which was approved by the CTB on Sept. 28, 2021 and:

a. accepted the CTB’s recommendation to award Tarris Hill Associates Ltd. the contract for the construction of a new social home in Fat Hogs Bay in the amount of $165,204.55; and

b. decided that the Ministry of Health and Social Development instruct the Attorney General’s Chambers to vet the relevant agreement.

2. Reviewed and approved the grant of certificates of belonger status to 14 applicants, who have met the legal requirements of Section 16(5a) of the Immigration and Passport Amendment (No. 2) Act, 2019 as fourth generation belongers.

3. Reviewed and accepted the 2020 Annual Report for the Department of Labour and Workforce Development and decided that it be laid on the table in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting.

4. Reviewed and accepted the 2020 Annual Report for the Survey Department and decided that it be laid on the table in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting.

5. Approved two non-belonger land holding licence applications.