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GoM issues its first ever Cabinet decisions report

New Ministers after the swearing in September 2009

For several years now, the Government of Montserrat (GoM) has said that it would publish Executive Council, now called ‘Cabinet’ decisions. For as many years the media has asked for and when the promise would be fulfilled, and there has never been any substantive reason that this had not yet taken place.

On Friday, May 18, 2012, Director of Information & Communications out of the Cabinet Secretariat issued a brief release announcing two reports from the Cabinet Secretariat of their activities covering from January 1 to March 30, 2012; and the month of April, 2012.

The reports cover  Nine Bills that were approved (by Cabinet) for submission to the Legislative Assembly. and one Bill had been put on hold pending further adjustments during the first quarter of this year.

Some of these Bills were tabled in the Legislative Assembly  this week Wednesday, May 16. Second and Third Readings of the Bill – ‘Tax Compliance Certificate Bill 2012’; and the ‘Probation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill 2012’; The Introduction and First Reading of the Bill – ‘Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2012’; ‘Magistrate’s Court (Amendment) Bill 2012’; and, the‘Physical Planning (Amendment) Bill 2012’.

During that first quarter, under Policy Matters, the report showed: “The following decisions are noteworthy:

Cabinet endorsed the agreement to equalize the visa entry requirements for Montserrat to be the same as the United Kingdom. Cabinet also authorized the introduction of online visa system, whereby persons wanting to visit Montserrat who require a visa can apply directly to the GoM rather that to the nearest British High Commission. The visa requirements for persons who would normally require a visa, but who are already in possession of a valid UK, USA or EEA visa, will also be waived, subject to the normal security checks.

Under the Fiscal Incentives GoM cabinet gave a Concession To Family FM Limited to re-authorize the operation of a free Air Radio Service.

Board Members were approved for the Labour Tribunal, Juvenile Assessors and the Social Security Board. 

Some decisions relative to Procurement saw a Waiver of the normal procurement rules to allow MCWL to purchase crushed stones/aggregate from Phoenix.

– Approval of the use of selective tendering for the procurement of ducts under the roads project. And, an increase in the ceiling value for consideration of tenders at the Department level to $100,000.00 instead of $50,000 as currently set out in the Regulations.

In the April 30 report it gave a ‘synopsis’ of the Cabinet Decisions among which showed an  “Extension of the waiver of the $2.00 per ton from the royalty charge for sand and aggregate exported from Montserrat to 30th June, 2012.”

During that month, GoM made now known important decisions connected to the Premier’s claim to ownership of the proposals in the MOU and reforms that he signed on May 1. “Cabinet agreed to the Strategic Growth and Development (SGDP) MoU commitments and Reform matrix.” (See story on Growth Package)

A decision was made on ending long outstanding stalemate on the Girl Guides building on the Davy Hill ridge. The GoM agreed to an exchange of land in Davy Hill 14/4 parcel 226 in St. Johns to Land in Look Out – block 14/27/72 for Montserrat Girl Guides Association.

A procurement board was agreed to be set up comprising six members.

Tax Compliance Certificate Act 2012

The Tax Compliance Certificate Bill 2012, which received its second and third reading last week Wednesday, passed the Legislative Assembly, and is considered to be the most significant bill for the sitting.

Premier Meade who had threatened to collect all outstanding taxes, the detriment of his political career not withstanding, explained that Clause three of the Act sets out the requirement for a Tax Compliance Certificate, where a person intends to submit a tender for a government business contract or seeks a concession. “It also requires a person to submit a Certificate with his application for citizenship, residency or the extension of a work permit.“

A Clause 3. “A person who— (a) submits—

(i) a tender for a government business contract; or (ii) an application for a concession; or

(b) applies for—

(i) citizenship; (ii) residency; or (iii) the extension of a work permit, is required to submit a Tax Compliance Certificate, along with his or her tender submission or concession application in paragraph (a) or his or her application in paragraph (b).

The Act also sets out the application process for a Certificate; the circumstances under which the Comptroller may issue a Certificate; and a provision that a Certificate be valid for one year.

A person may be refused a Tax Compliance Certificate, while Clause 8 grants a right of appeal to the Minister, by a person who is refused a Tax Compliance Certificate.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

New Ministers after the swearing in September 2009

For several years now, the Government of Montserrat (GoM) has said that it would publish Executive Council, now called ‘Cabinet’ decisions. For as many years the media has asked for and when the promise would be fulfilled, and there has never been any substantive reason that this had not yet taken place.

On Friday, May 18, 2012, Director of Information & Communications out of the Cabinet Secretariat issued a brief release announcing two reports from the Cabinet Secretariat of their activities covering from January 1 to March 30, 2012; and the month of April, 2012.

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The reports cover  Nine Bills that were approved (by Cabinet) for submission to the Legislative Assembly. and one Bill had been put on hold pending further adjustments during the first quarter of this year.

Some of these Bills were tabled in the Legislative Assembly  this week Wednesday, May 16. Second and Third Readings of the Bill – ‘Tax Compliance Certificate Bill 2012’; and the ‘Probation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill 2012’; The Introduction and First Reading of the Bill – ‘Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2012’; ‘Magistrate’s Court (Amendment) Bill 2012’; and, the‘Physical Planning (Amendment) Bill 2012’.

During that first quarter, under Policy Matters, the report showed: “The following decisions are noteworthy:

Cabinet endorsed the agreement to equalize the visa entry requirements for Montserrat to be the same as the United Kingdom. Cabinet also authorized the introduction of online visa system, whereby persons wanting to visit Montserrat who require a visa can apply directly to the GoM rather that to the nearest British High Commission. The visa requirements for persons who would normally require a visa, but who are already in possession of a valid UK, USA or EEA visa, will also be waived, subject to the normal security checks.

Under the Fiscal Incentives GoM cabinet gave a Concession To Family FM Limited to re-authorize the operation of a free Air Radio Service.

Board Members were approved for the Labour Tribunal, Juvenile Assessors and the Social Security Board. 

Some decisions relative to Procurement saw a Waiver of the normal procurement rules to allow MCWL to purchase crushed stones/aggregate from Phoenix.

– Approval of the use of selective tendering for the procurement of ducts under the roads project. And, an increase in the ceiling value for consideration of tenders at the Department level to $100,000.00 instead of $50,000 as currently set out in the Regulations.

In the April 30 report it gave a ‘synopsis’ of the Cabinet Decisions among which showed an  “Extension of the waiver of the $2.00 per ton from the royalty charge for sand and aggregate exported from Montserrat to 30th June, 2012.”

During that month, GoM made now known important decisions connected to the Premier’s claim to ownership of the proposals in the MOU and reforms that he signed on May 1. “Cabinet agreed to the Strategic Growth and Development (SGDP) MoU commitments and Reform matrix.” (See story on Growth Package)

A decision was made on ending long outstanding stalemate on the Girl Guides building on the Davy Hill ridge. The GoM agreed to an exchange of land in Davy Hill 14/4 parcel 226 in St. Johns to Land in Look Out – block 14/27/72 for Montserrat Girl Guides Association.

A procurement board was agreed to be set up comprising six members.

Tax Compliance Certificate Act 2012

The Tax Compliance Certificate Bill 2012, which received its second and third reading last week Wednesday, passed the Legislative Assembly, and is considered to be the most significant bill for the sitting.

Premier Meade who had threatened to collect all outstanding taxes, the detriment of his political career not withstanding, explained that Clause three of the Act sets out the requirement for a Tax Compliance Certificate, where a person intends to submit a tender for a government business contract or seeks a concession. “It also requires a person to submit a Certificate with his application for citizenship, residency or the extension of a work permit.“

A Clause 3. “A person who— (a) submits—

(i) a tender for a government business contract; or (ii) an application for a concession; or

(b) applies for—

(i) citizenship; (ii) residency; or (iii) the extension of a work permit, is required to submit a Tax Compliance Certificate, along with his or her tender submission or concession application in paragraph (a) or his or her application in paragraph (b).

The Act also sets out the application process for a Certificate; the circumstances under which the Comptroller may issue a Certificate; and a provision that a Certificate be valid for one year.

A person may be refused a Tax Compliance Certificate, while Clause 8 grants a right of appeal to the Minister, by a person who is refused a Tax Compliance Certificate.