17TH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF PRESIDING OFFICERS AND CLERKS OF THE CARIBBEAN

17TH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF PRESIDING OFFICERS AND CLERKS OF THE CARIBBEAN, THE AMERICAS AND THE ATLANTIC REGION OF THE COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION HELD IN HAMILTON BERMUDA FROM THE 25TH - 29TH OCTOBER 2015.

 

Hon Josephine Connolly Deputy Speaker of The House of Assembly Turks and Caicos along with the Clerk Mrs. Tracey Parker, were among 12 other Caribbean countries who attended the 17th Biennial Conference of Presiding Officers and Clerks of the Caribbean, the Americas and the Atlantic Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association held in Hamilton Bermuda from the 25th to 29th October 2015.

The theme of the conference was "Relevance of Parliament in Today's Society”.  Each country was assigned a topic for the conference.  Topics include

i. “The Role of the Speaker: Initiating Strategies and Outreach Programmes to enable the Public to understand his/her Role and Responsibilities.” By –​T​Trinidad &​C​ayman Islands.

ii. “Is Adversarial Politics sustainable in Small Islands: Implementing successful Strategies in managing contentious house debates to protect the integrity of Parliament”. By Jamaica & St. Kitt’s & Nevis.

iii. “The Role of Social Media inside and outside the Chamber: Promoting Youth Engagement and Interaction with Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s).” By B​arbados & Turks and Caicos.

iv. “The Critical role and effectiveness of Parliamentary Committees in smaller Legislatures: What are some of the benefits and challenges.” –​by B​ermuda & Bahamas

v. “Building the professional capacity of Parliamentarians: Strengthening and enhancing the basic fundamentals of parliamentary procedure and the importance of fostering partnerships with each other.” By–​G​uyana & Anguilla

vi. Developing Codes of Conduct and Conflicts of Interest mechanisms to improve good governance, accountability and public confidence.”​–by S​t. Lucia &​M​ontserrat

Hon. Connolly spoke on the topic "Does social media have a place both inside and outside the Chamber: promoting youth engagement and intersectionwith civil society Organization" which she said was well received. “The conference was informative and very useful and I learnt a lot from my Caribbean colleagues".

There was also a special meeting held for Clerks which Mrs Tracey Parker, Clerk of the House of Assembly found useful and rewarding.  Mrs Parker said; “The establishment of an Association of Clerks for the region will be a tremendous benefit to all Clerks within the region as it speaks to training and networking among colleagues." 

“I firmly believe that this Association will play a critical role in the sound governance of our country as it speaks to professionalism and impartiality displayed by Clerk’s and how  vital it is  to the smooth conduct and development of parliament."

Caicos Pine Interpretive Trail launched in Middle Caicos

A new nature trail will be launched in Middle Caicos on December 4th. The trail, developed by the Department of Environment & Maritime Affairs (DEMA) and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is a 0.45 mile long ramble, with 16 stopping points, that walks you through the indigenous Caicos Pine Yard, guided by interpretive information signs. 
 
“While historically the pine yards were often visited for agriculture and resource extraction, few people visit them nowadays and the habitat is as much at risk of becoming out-of-sight, out-of-mind as it is from its other threats. The Caicos Pine Yard Trail is a result of seven years of fieldwork with our project partners to increase public awareness about our National Tree and the unique habitat in which it exists. The National Tree Ramble presents a new opportunity to experience the ecosystem and its wildlife, most notably the iconic Caicos pine firsthand.”, said Bryan Naqqi Manco, Caicos Pine Recovery Project Manager.
 
Each stopping point is related to the corresponding text in the trail guide brochure, providing an explanation about the plants, animals, habitat, threats and conservation measures. The trail can be self-guided (brochure available on site) or guided tours by local ecotourism companies and local guides can be arranged contacting DEMA’s office in Providenciales.
 
The Caicos Pine Recovery Project was launched in 2008 after it was found that the TCI’s National Tree was under threat of extinction due to a severe infestation by the non-native pine tortoise scale insect. This scale insect has killed over 90% of pines in TCI, devastating the local pine yards in the past 10 years, and few live healthy trees can be seen nowadays. The Caicos pine is now listed in the IUCN Red List of threatened species as Vulnerable.

Publication of TCI FATCA Guidance Notes

GUIDANCE NOTES ON THE INTERNATIONAL TAX COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LEGISLATION IMPLEMENTING THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
 
These Guidance Notes are issued under the Tax Information Exchange (Convention) On Mutual Administrative Assistance In Tax Matters) Order 2014 by the Exchange of Information Unit as the Competent Authority.
 
It should be noted that the Guidance Notes do not have the force of law. If you are in any doubt as to your obligations under the law you should seek independent professional advice.
 
Contact Details:
The Exchange of Information Unit
Ministry of Finance
Hibiscus Square
Grand Turk
Turks & Caicos Islands
Telephone: (649)338-2065