FAM budget Discussions friendly

by Bennette Roach

This lead story of January 24, 2020, was seemingly never published online. It is referred to in this year’s report on the FAM talks and excerpted for reference there

With the concurrence of the other lead players in the recently concluded Financial Aid Mission talks here in Montserrat, His Excellency Governor Andy Pearce expressed at the joint press conference between the UK Department for International Development/Foreign Commonwealth Office (DFID/FCO) and the Government of Montserrat (GoM), that his thoughts as to what would be key to a successful FAM were spot on, to be professional, in a spirit of cooperation and friendship.

He said in his opening remarks, “I just gave a couple of thoughts that the key to a successful FAM in my relatively brief experience here, was firstly professional d0iligence and thoroughness, attention to detail and secondly conducting things in a spirit of cooperation and friendship.”

“I must say from my own experience in this week, I think both have been absolutely hit on the nail,” adding that he would echo the Financial Secretary’s (FS) observation.

The FS had said as he introduced the press conference, “…it’s been an extraordinary week…very busy – it’s been very well attended,” and he said, “thanks to the Premier and the ministers for attending most of the sessions…”

The Governor ended his brief remarks addressing the “public service team in all its parts…really excellent preparation, coming straight after Christmas and with busy day jobs…thank you very much indeed for doing it also carefully, and such a happy spirit indeed. It’s built a really solid understanding between us all and an excellent spirit of cooperation and friendship.”

The Hon Premier Joseph Farrell speaking next said he wished to join with the others who have extended words of thanks to the many persons who are involved (they said they had one more meeting after the press conference, having just concluded one before) in this week of activities.”

In particular,” he said, “I want to thank the core teams of both DFID and the government and once that Ministry of finance and all others who took part in the discussions.”

“Surely it was a very full experience for us as a new government. My ministers and I certainly enjoyed the exposure that we have had,” repeating the newness, “but we have learnt a lot.”

He confirmed that they had attended “most of the sessions and the only reason why we did that is because we want to be familiar with how it works; and the pressure that the public servants are under when dealing with DFID,” intending humour in the last bit.”

Getting to the substantial issue of the week, the Premier said, concurring as he said with the FS and the Governor. “We have had a very good week of working together with DFID and FCO. and our local government in touching all of the issues that are there to help us go through the new budget cycle,” mentioning later that all in all, “…the week went very fast but very good for all of us.’‘

He explained that his government had no great expectations as they were aware that the talks would be just about the recurrent budget. “…we had no great expectations because we knew that the talks were about finalising this round of talks for the recurrent budget 2020-2021,” adding simply, “except that we wanted to ensure that we had monies to spend for service and salaries,” adding that they spoke about issues they had about the CIPREG (Capital Investment Programme for Resilient Economic Growth) program (negotiated by the former PDM government); “some concerns about certain management aspects of it…”

Adam Pile is the Deputy Director with responsibilities for the (inhabited) Overseas Territories in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who we questioned about his lead role in the talks, pointing out how far things have come in the UK when not much longer than ten years ago we were informed both DFID and the FCO did not communicate. On that matter, he acknowledged the situation and said they have come a long way. He would later answer as how it is he is taking the lead role in the budget discussions, which would appear in another report on the talks.

“I’d like to say that we’ve had a really productive week with some really constructive discussions and we’ve got a huge range of people…we’ve spent a lot of time with the government, but we’ve also been out there talking to N.G.O.s and talking to businesses…’” he began, thanking the Premier and his ministers and public service and referring to the warm welcome “Montserratians have given us…”

 He mentioned, “All the hard work has gone into not only intense meetings for the week, but there’s a lot of paperwork and thought was going to be making this week your success, and for us it’s been good to build that relationship…”

He noted as he referred lightly to some of the budgetary discussions – “some really good works, reforms you see in areas like child safeguarding… it’s good to see the cable service ship off the coast that something is going to arrive very soon hopefully, on the £30 million capital investment program with the promise that we made some good progress and to some really good discussions going on…

Of note he commented also, speaking more widely later on, “I think as public servants throughout the world we need to think about how we can reduce bureaucracy to speed up investments…how we can join up public services so we make sure we focusing on the services we deliver to the people of Montserrat, but how we’re ready for the challenges and opportunities we the UK Government and GoM are going to face in the next decade…moving forward from here DFID colleagues have got a lot to take away with them – we’ll work with them back in the UK.”

The FCO deputy director then added that the purpose of the week was to is really trying to get an understanding of the challenges people are facing in Montserrat, the opportunities coming around the corner and, “for us to make the best case to UK ministers to for continued support for Montserrat…”

He would later on from questions, elaborate on much of what he said, as well as from the Premier and Governor, the Premier also promising a more in-depth press briefing on the issues raised from the friendly and cooperating talks.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by Bennette Roach

This lead story of January 24, 2020, was seemingly never published online. It is referred to in this year’s report on the FAM talks and excerpted for reference there

With the concurrence of the other lead players in the recently concluded Financial Aid Mission talks here in Montserrat, His Excellency Governor Andy Pearce expressed at the joint press conference between the UK Department for International Development/Foreign Commonwealth Office (DFID/FCO) and the Government of Montserrat (GoM), that his thoughts as to what would be key to a successful FAM were spot on, to be professional, in a spirit of cooperation and friendship.

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He said in his opening remarks, “I just gave a couple of thoughts that the key to a successful FAM in my relatively brief experience here, was firstly professional d0iligence and thoroughness, attention to detail and secondly conducting things in a spirit of cooperation and friendship.”

“I must say from my own experience in this week, I think both have been absolutely hit on the nail,” adding that he would echo the Financial Secretary’s (FS) observation.

The FS had said as he introduced the press conference, “…it’s been an extraordinary week…very busy – it’s been very well attended,” and he said, “thanks to the Premier and the ministers for attending most of the sessions…”

The Governor ended his brief remarks addressing the “public service team in all its parts…really excellent preparation, coming straight after Christmas and with busy day jobs…thank you very much indeed for doing it also carefully, and such a happy spirit indeed. It’s built a really solid understanding between us all and an excellent spirit of cooperation and friendship.”

The Hon Premier Joseph Farrell speaking next said he wished to join with the others who have extended words of thanks to the many persons who are involved (they said they had one more meeting after the press conference, having just concluded one before) in this week of activities.”

In particular,” he said, “I want to thank the core teams of both DFID and the government and once that Ministry of finance and all others who took part in the discussions.”

“Surely it was a very full experience for us as a new government. My ministers and I certainly enjoyed the exposure that we have had,” repeating the newness, “but we have learnt a lot.”

He confirmed that they had attended “most of the sessions and the only reason why we did that is because we want to be familiar with how it works; and the pressure that the public servants are under when dealing with DFID,” intending humour in the last bit.”

Getting to the substantial issue of the week, the Premier said, concurring as he said with the FS and the Governor. “We have had a very good week of working together with DFID and FCO. and our local government in touching all of the issues that are there to help us go through the new budget cycle,” mentioning later that all in all, “…the week went very fast but very good for all of us.’‘

He explained that his government had no great expectations as they were aware that the talks would be just about the recurrent budget. “…we had no great expectations because we knew that the talks were about finalising this round of talks for the recurrent budget 2020-2021,” adding simply, “except that we wanted to ensure that we had monies to spend for service and salaries,” adding that they spoke about issues they had about the CIPREG (Capital Investment Programme for Resilient Economic Growth) program (negotiated by the former PDM government); “some concerns about certain management aspects of it…”

Adam Pile is the Deputy Director with responsibilities for the (inhabited) Overseas Territories in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who we questioned about his lead role in the talks, pointing out how far things have come in the UK when not much longer than ten years ago we were informed both DFID and the FCO did not communicate. On that matter, he acknowledged the situation and said they have come a long way. He would later answer as how it is he is taking the lead role in the budget discussions, which would appear in another report on the talks.

“I’d like to say that we’ve had a really productive week with some really constructive discussions and we’ve got a huge range of people…we’ve spent a lot of time with the government, but we’ve also been out there talking to N.G.O.s and talking to businesses…’” he began, thanking the Premier and his ministers and public service and referring to the warm welcome “Montserratians have given us…”

 He mentioned, “All the hard work has gone into not only intense meetings for the week, but there’s a lot of paperwork and thought was going to be making this week your success, and for us it’s been good to build that relationship…”

He noted as he referred lightly to some of the budgetary discussions – “some really good works, reforms you see in areas like child safeguarding… it’s good to see the cable service ship off the coast that something is going to arrive very soon hopefully, on the £30 million capital investment program with the promise that we made some good progress and to some really good discussions going on…

Of note he commented also, speaking more widely later on, “I think as public servants throughout the world we need to think about how we can reduce bureaucracy to speed up investments…how we can join up public services so we make sure we focusing on the services we deliver to the people of Montserrat, but how we’re ready for the challenges and opportunities we the UK Government and GoM are going to face in the next decade…moving forward from here DFID colleagues have got a lot to take away with them – we’ll work with them back in the UK.”

The FCO deputy director then added that the purpose of the week was to is really trying to get an understanding of the challenges people are facing in Montserrat, the opportunities coming around the corner and, “for us to make the best case to UK ministers to for continued support for Montserrat…”

He would later on from questions, elaborate on much of what he said, as well as from the Premier and Governor, the Premier also promising a more in-depth press briefing on the issues raised from the friendly and cooperating talks.