TCI changes ‘far reaching’ says UK official

| 19/09/2012

ric todd.jpg(CNS): The governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands has described the programme of reform implemented there by the UK’s interim government as the most far-reaching in any UK Overseas Territory. With the publication of the final quarterly progress report on the Interim Administration’s milestones before the people of the territory go to the polls in November, Governor Ric Todd said progress against the eight milestones has left the TCI with an improved, more effective and sustainable public service, modernised legislation, stronger control of its public finances investing in key priorities, and sound management of the economy.

The local economy has been growing since 2010 and grew by 4.1% in 2011, officials said in a release from the governor’s office this week. The milestones were designed to instill good governance at the heart of the public service and have underpinned the activities of the Interim Administration since it took on responsibility for governing the territory following the suspension of the TCI constitution. This followed the damning conclusions reached by the 2009 Commission of Inquiry, led by Sir Robin Auld.

The milestones were published in 2010 and outlined the practical steps that would need to be taken in order address the institutional problems and return to an elected Assembly and government. Their gradual achievement led to the TCI constitution being reinstated on 15 October, triggering the general election for 9 November.

“With the prospect of fresh elections now firmly in sight, the beneficial changes brought about by the milestones provides any future elected administration with a solid and more sustainable base with which to consider affordable levels of public expenditure, demonstrate continued good governance and achieve sustainable economic development to the benefit of all people in TCI,” said Todd.

“The programme of work to modernise the management and delivery of public services in TCI, as well as to put public finances on the road to recovery, modernise legislation and strengthen the economy is simply most extensive undertaken for any UK overseas territory.”

The six-month long investigation by Sir Robin concluded that there was a high probability of systematic corruption in the TCI government, legislature and public officers of the territory, compounded by a serious deterioration – froman already low level – in the territory’s system of governance and public financial management.

This corruption appeared to have consisted mainly of bribery and fraud by developers and other investors of ministers and public officers, so as to secure crown land on favourable terms.

See full Commission of Inquiry here.

See last report on milestones here.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Rather than feeling sorry for onesself, one should be grateful that the British came in, stopped the unchecked corruption, and got us back on the right track.  The framework is there for us to prosper in the future – let's not make a hash of it.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Having spent a lot of time there over the past two years I am conscious of the efforts of the British to assist the TCI from the gross unbounded corruption that took place over a number of years. Regrettably because of the raping and pillaging of the peoples land they have had to pay the price thru the introduction of VAT. It is very sad and they are far more destitute than Cayman. Having said that the wholesale fraud that took place often with the compliance of members of the legal profession should have been spotted. With corruptcivil servants et al it almost impossible to prevent collusion and it’s subsequent corruption. However I am not convinced that certain Governors should have asked more questions. Moreover a certain UK Lord played a significant role in recent government contracts over there. Is it a surprise that he is a friend of Mr Simmonds our new man from the FCO?

      Now having said that I looked see where our premier has been. Yes you got bit, the TCI, partying with one Butch Stewart.

      As I keep saying. Rome burned while Nero fiddled, and it had nothing to do with fiddling the books.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So, three years, millions of dollars, suspended democracy and no convictions. (And, yes, I did read Milestone 6: No Convictions) Yeah, that's a good track record. But at least they got VAT.

    To all those people who read this site and say "Bring in the British" the rest of us can only hope that the Brits have learned their lesson and will apply corrective measures with a long handled spoon. Though I doubt it. They're too proud of the mess they made. And too convinced of their own inherent superiority.

    We need to learn from others mistakes, both the TCI & Britains (in TCI) and try to make sure that they are not repeated. – Hint: 1st stamp out corruption.

    • Anonymous says:

      And how is that going?  The Caymanians against Caymanian corruption?  Is Bush still in charge of his own ivestigations? Did the Brack attack on MY paving MY island with YOUR money have an impact?  The Brits are human like the rest of us and you.  Hint number 2:   The job should go to the ones with the ability to do it.

  3. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    We need some of that here

  4. Local says:

    So he marks his own report card?

    Sounds like PPM's election slogan "dont stop the progress".