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Governor’s Appointed Member touts Civil Service Upgrade during Budget Debates

Jun 12, 2023




By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – There are sweeping changes coming to the civil service this year after years of complaints about delays and understaffing.

"For the year 2023/24, the office of the Deputy Governor has a very ambitious public sector transformation centered around improving service delivery and the customer experience."

This came from Governors Appointed Member Willin Belliard, as he rose in the budget debates on Thursday May 18 to detail the revamp.

Phase one of E-procurement which will allow for the virtual submission of tenders is to be implemented. Along with that will come E-Jobs, a similar system touted to make job applications virtual, swift and easy.

Implementation of the Human Capital Procurement Program is also on the list of deliverables. Human capital is sorely lacking in the Turks and Caicos across the public and private sectors with hundreds of vacancies sitting open and resignations continuing to pile up.

Public servants will also find it easier to enroll into the all new Public Sector Pension Plan with the advent of a portal to remove the need for paper based applications.

The previously announced pay grading exercise is on the table to be completed and a Contract management unit has now been created to manage the delivery of projects that taxpayers are funding.

Residents of the Turks and Caicos have complained bitterly about the state of the civil service in the country for years. From police records to the treasury, the service is characterized by low staffing, frustrating wait time and long lines.

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.

According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues. Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.

Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip "delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations."

The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.




By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – A bevy of important legislative changes and tangible projects are on the agenda for the Ministry of Home Affairs this year, as the ministry attempts to institute an all new Utilities Bill; a complete revamp of the postal service including personal mailboxes and much more.

The plans were shared on May 18th by Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs as he made his contribution to the National Budget debate, last month.

Morris’ ministerial portfolio is a broad one, covering telecommunications, transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), fire services and water services; the PNP Administration, in its Budget passed on Friday May 19, has carved out $26 million for Home Affairs and among the first targets: mail physically delivered to residents’ doorsteps.

"The Postal Services intends to set up residential mailboxes in several communities on Providenciales," Morris said. He explained that this would begin with houses that have 911 numbers and mailbox numbers will match house numbers, TCI will be first in the Caribbean to implement it according to the Minister.

Connections will also be made with the US Postal service to allow small businesses locally, to send their product overseas with courier services provided by the local Postal Office through the United States Postal Services, and others for priority delivery to the good's destination within two business days. This could open up small businesses in the country to the US Market expanding their client base by hundreds of millions.

In relation to water services Morris said: "As we speak, the contractor is advancing the contract for the installation of the new piping system to connect the RO Plant to the 1-million-gallon storage facility At the same time, the new booster pump house at the 1-million-gallon-storage facility has also been completed."

In addition, contracts for another 1-million-gallon Salt Water Reverse Osmosis Plant and 1-million-gallon storage facility have been signed, and initial stages have begun. It's good news especially for Grand Turk residents who have had recurring issues with water availability for years.

The service time at the DMV is another long standing issue on the agenda to be fixed this year, with a new database that will allow for online applications for new and renewed licenses. Morris says it will dramatically reduce the wait time.

Other projects promised to be completed this financial year include:

In addition to those projects, Morris says he will be going to the House of Assembly with several bills to tackle long standing issues for the public. They include:

Along with the all new Utilities Regulatory Agency, a new Department of Rehabilitation and Community Services will be created; plus a new Publishing Policy is in the works, Morris says, to highlight the gaps and missed opportunities, as it relates to the utilization of modern equipment.

Morris swore to continue to be a servant leader for residents across the country, maintaining that the budget was not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of his values and aspirations,




By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

#TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 – The UK government is well aware of the escalation of the issues the Turks and Caicos is plagued with as it relates to irregular migration. Even the Royal Family is clued in to the size of the problem according to Premier, Washington Misick.

"As it stands at the moment, this is our piece of the globe that we have to protect and we will do everything we can to prevent the degradation of the conditions within the Turks and Caicos islands," he vowed.

The country leader was speaking at a national address to introduce Operation PURSUIT in response to exponential levels of migrants trying to breach the country's borders. The Premier said assistance would be coming from the United Kingdom in short order, including the possibility of more permanent marine support, which some residents think the UK should provide, since they are responsible for national security in the country.

Misick refused to preempt what the UK would announce, but expressed confidence that help was on the way. In addition to that he said he was in conversation with CARICOM and the US as well.

"The Prime Minister of The Bahamas is the president of CARICOM at the moment, I am indeed engaged with the Prime Minister. We have had conversations, also I have raised the issue with the Ministry of Defense in the United States so some wheels are turning. Hopefully we will collectively be able to assist Haiti," he said.

Operation PURSUIT, launched on May 23, is designed to curb crimes linked to irregular migration and human smuggling, is now in operation.

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By Dana Malcolm Staff Writer #TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 Rashaed Esson Staff Writer #USA, June 5, 2023 By Dana Malcolm Staff Writer #TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023 By Dana Malcolm Staff Writer #TurksandCaicos, June 5, 2023