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Premier signs MOU with DFID on GoM for reforms towards economic growth

 by Bennette Roach

Premier Reuben Meade signs MOU

 These are:  (i) improve the business environment (ii) develop Montserrat as a tourist destination and iii) strengthen GoM’s capacity to facilitate growth.

 Both DFID and GoM say, significant progress across all reform areas is a fundamental precondition for any future UK commitment to investment funds in Little Bay town, Carr’s Bay port and sea/air access to Montserrat.

R-L Gov Adrian davis, Secretary of State for International Development - Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Minister of State for International Development - Alan Duncan MP

The signing of the MOU took place behind closed doors by Montserrat with available members of the Legislative Assembly, in the presence of the Deputy Governor and DFID’s local representative head, Dr. Kato Kimbugwe. Following protests from the press, the Premier staged the signing of a copy of the MOU, which he previously signed, prior to the ensuing press briefing. The formal signing was done with DFID in London via video conference with DFID officials in East Kilbride, Scotland and UK ministers in London.

 Premier Meade during the ensuing press conference highlighted the announcement that the UK government will support the Montserrat’s plan to, “prove the size and potential of Montserrat’s geothermal reserves.” Minister Charles Kirnon sat in with the Premier at the press conference and he briefed on some matters of the developments. (See story: UK agrees to fund Geothermal Development…)

The Premier declined to speak much on the just signed MOU, the draft copy of which had been described in a TMR story online prior to the signing. Under caption, Premier to sign MOU to get aid package for now and future by Bennette Roach – It smells like blackmail somewhere! Is this what doing the “right thing” is?It reads as follows:

In last week’s Editorial we made reference to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was on the way and we asked, “Will GoM discuss with, advise the public on these matters before hand or even report on their plans?”

Press Conference after the signing

At the time we were unaware of the imminence of the signing, although Dr. Kimbugwe had been explaining its back and forth discussions while it had been pending for some time and expected by the end of March, this year.

 We also published a brief item, “Budget support for Montserrat delayed …” Just hours after we went to press we received an invitation to witness the signing of ‘the’ MOU on Monday at mid-day to be followed by a video conference with Secretary of State for International Development, Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell. The invitation was followed by a press release, captioned, “Premier Meade expected to sign MOU with DFID for Montserrat’s new aid package”.

The availability of the draft document in our possession was not appreciated by DFID, while they pointed out that the date for the signing was incorrect. We were also advised that the direct purpose of the MOU was wrongly stated in the release, which also was read in ZJB radio news on Monday morning.

That got an immediate follow-up story which read in part: “Dr. Kato Kimbugwe of DFID, Montserrat, advised that the information was incorrect, in that, the MOU is to be signed, not as described (Monday, Apr 30), but on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

He further said that the description in the release advising the signing of the MOU and which referenced DFID’s: “…new capital aid package for the budgetary cycle 2012/2013,” was incorrect. Kimbugwe said It has to do with a link to the strategic growth package…which is supposed to be a stimulus for the private sector…to provide the infrastructure, …”

In the release that made the signing announcement, it was stated,Last October the government committed to creating a Strategic Growth and Development Plan (SGDP), linked to receiving future investment from DFID. Some of the reform commitments in the MOU are: a streamlined tax administration system to increase tax collection and compliance; implementing the eGovernment Strategy and the introduction of online payments for public services; a revamped immigration and land acquisition policy; appropriate legislature for environmental management; policies to increase private sector participation in the economy; and the outsourcing of several government services.”

The Premier speaking briefly to the MOU, confirmed a Government House pre-release which stated , “It is expected that the successful implementation of the reform programme will put Montserrat on a clear path to faster economic growth and reduced dependence on UK budgetary support,” a release from Government House stated.

“Our goal is by 2020 to have our private sector taking over more than 50% of our GDP,” Premier Meade declared. “Montserrat cannot develop without local and foreign direct investment.”

 The GoM leader said: “This MOU was developed by the Government of Montserrat and DFID has agreed to support us to get it done.”

Included with the MOU is a Government Reforms matrix document which sets out timelines of Goals, Milestones by September, 2012, (Mid-Year Review), Milestones by February, 2013, Resources Required and the Implementing agencies.

 The Premier in his brief response pointed out, “…Government’s reform was not handed to us by the UK,” while the release stated: “the government’s progress in implementing the reforms will be reviewed… the outcome of the February 2013 review will influence future UK ministerial decisions on possible investments in the Carr’s Bay Port, Little Bay Town and access to the island.”

 A copy of the MOU was eventually circulated to the media on Wednesday which showed no change from the draft MOU we acquired earlier.

http://www.themontserratreporter.com/budget-support-for-montserrat-delayed-because-of-cost-of-living/

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

 by Bennette Roach

Premier Reuben Meade signs MOU

 These are:  (i) improve the business environment (ii) develop Montserrat as a tourist destination and iii) strengthen GoM’s capacity to facilitate growth.

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 Both DFID and GoM say, significant progress across all reform areas is a fundamental precondition for any future UK commitment to investment funds in Little Bay town, Carr’s Bay port and sea/air access to Montserrat.

R-L Gov Adrian davis, Secretary of State for International Development - Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Minister of State for International Development - Alan Duncan MP

The signing of the MOU took place behind closed doors by Montserrat with available members of the Legislative Assembly, in the presence of the Deputy Governor and DFID’s local representative head, Dr. Kato Kimbugwe. Following protests from the press, the Premier staged the signing of a copy of the MOU, which he previously signed, prior to the ensuing press briefing. The formal signing was done with DFID in London via video conference with DFID officials in East Kilbride, Scotland and UK ministers in London.

 Premier Meade during the ensuing press conference highlighted the announcement that the UK government will support the Montserrat’s plan to, “prove the size and potential of Montserrat’s geothermal reserves.” Minister Charles Kirnon sat in with the Premier at the press conference and he briefed on some matters of the developments. (See story: UK agrees to fund Geothermal Development…)

The Premier declined to speak much on the just signed MOU, the draft copy of which had been described in a TMR story online prior to the signing. Under caption, Premier to sign MOU to get aid package for now and future by Bennette Roach – It smells like blackmail somewhere! Is this what doing the “right thing” is?It reads as follows:

In last week’s Editorial we made reference to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was on the way and we asked, “Will GoM discuss with, advise the public on these matters before hand or even report on their plans?”

Press Conference after the signing

At the time we were unaware of the imminence of the signing, although Dr. Kimbugwe had been explaining its back and forth discussions while it had been pending for some time and expected by the end of March, this year.

 We also published a brief item, “Budget support for Montserrat delayed …” Just hours after we went to press we received an invitation to witness the signing of ‘the’ MOU on Monday at mid-day to be followed by a video conference with Secretary of State for International Development, Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell. The invitation was followed by a press release, captioned, “Premier Meade expected to sign MOU with DFID for Montserrat’s new aid package”.

The availability of the draft document in our possession was not appreciated by DFID, while they pointed out that the date for the signing was incorrect. We were also advised that the direct purpose of the MOU was wrongly stated in the release, which also was read in ZJB radio news on Monday morning.

That got an immediate follow-up story which read in part: “Dr. Kato Kimbugwe of DFID, Montserrat, advised that the information was incorrect, in that, the MOU is to be signed, not as described (Monday, Apr 30), but on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

He further said that the description in the release advising the signing of the MOU and which referenced DFID’s: “…new capital aid package for the budgetary cycle 2012/2013,” was incorrect. Kimbugwe said It has to do with a link to the strategic growth package…which is supposed to be a stimulus for the private sector…to provide the infrastructure, …”

In the release that made the signing announcement, it was stated,Last October the government committed to creating a Strategic Growth and Development Plan (SGDP), linked to receiving future investment from DFID. Some of the reform commitments in the MOU are: a streamlined tax administration system to increase tax collection and compliance; implementing the eGovernment Strategy and the introduction of online payments for public services; a revamped immigration and land acquisition policy; appropriate legislature for environmental management; policies to increase private sector participation in the economy; and the outsourcing of several government services.”

The Premier speaking briefly to the MOU, confirmed a Government House pre-release which stated , “It is expected that the successful implementation of the reform programme will put Montserrat on a clear path to faster economic growth and reduced dependence on UK budgetary support,” a release from Government House stated.

“Our goal is by 2020 to have our private sector taking over more than 50% of our GDP,” Premier Meade declared. “Montserrat cannot develop without local and foreign direct investment.”

 The GoM leader said: “This MOU was developed by the Government of Montserrat and DFID has agreed to support us to get it done.”

Included with the MOU is a Government Reforms matrix document which sets out timelines of Goals, Milestones by September, 2012, (Mid-Year Review), Milestones by February, 2013, Resources Required and the Implementing agencies.

 The Premier in his brief response pointed out, “…Government’s reform was not handed to us by the UK,” while the release stated: “the government’s progress in implementing the reforms will be reviewed… the outcome of the February 2013 review will influence future UK ministerial decisions on possible investments in the Carr’s Bay Port, Little Bay Town and access to the island.”

 A copy of the MOU was eventually circulated to the media on Wednesday which showed no change from the draft MOU we acquired earlier.

http://www.themontserratreporter.com/budget-support-for-montserrat-delayed-because-of-cost-of-living/