Report on Executive Council
By MLA Roger Spink
22 September 2021
Executive Council met on Wednesday 22nd August to consider twenty-nine papers. MLAs Hansen, Barkman and Spink were in attendance.
The Director of Natural Resources attended for the first three items.
The first paper on the agenda was the new ITQ Rights- Fisheries Accord Action Plan and Eligible Company Action Plan. The paper presented the final overarching FIG-FIFCA Accord Action plan and a template for Eligible Company specific Action Plans, which must be in place in order for ITQ to be granted. The recommendations were approved for this significant step in the Fisheries development.
Illex Fishing Licence and Transhipment Licence Fees were then considered. An increase of 10% in Illex Licence fees was agreed numbers of vessels to be licenced, multiple applications, an application fee of £1,000, license assessment criteria and scoring matrix, offer template and feedback, consideration of license dates and an increase of 10% in transhipment Fees were all considered and approved. Building on the approach established in 2021 with regard to Illex licence applications, consideration and allocations, the enhancements to the overall process and criteria were made, in order to both stimulate competition and drive up standards for safety and business practices.
The Third Item considered was a contract to enable calcified seaweed extraction. The Environmental impacts of which are considered as part of the planning process.
The chief Internal Auditor then attended to present the Internal Audit Annual Report and Opinion with improvements noted in most areas. Some discussion was had on the difficulties in recruiting to fill the important audit posts.
Next a paper was considered to approve provision of a capital grant and loan facility to the Falkland Islands Museum and National trust with the Build program for the Lookout Gallery and Exhibition Hall subject to terms and further Exco approval.
A paper dealing with the Falkland Islands Pension Scheme Flexible Withdrawal from Individual Accounts Administrative arrangements was considered. The policy was agreed for FIPS members noting the revised explanatory booklet and authorising the Attorney General to prepare legislation to come into force at the earliest (due to the work required) on 1 January 2023 dependent on the legislative priorities of the Assembly.
Next steps for the new sports facility were then considered the good progress by the National Sports Council was noted and the Director of Development and commercial services in agreement with the chief Executive and Financial Secretary were delegated to agree a further set of defined activities and staged payments to keep the project on track.
A paper to approve the Sale of 1 Jeremy Moore Avenue Flats 6 and 7 was then approved with priority to FIG existing tenants in the first place.
Next a paper proposing temporary use of the Hillside Packaway Buildings as Medical Stores during the Hospital refurbishment was approved. Review of the use of the rest of the buildings was deferred to January 2022.
Confirmation that no extra charges should be made to the leaseholders at Murray Heights South was next agreed due to the road upgrade works.
An update on Orthodontics Services was then provided with an Orthodontist due to visit the Islands early in 2022. Any students who missed out on UK treatment due to the delayed start of the UK student program will be contacted to be covered in the Islands.
A position paper confirming that a substantial charge on public funds for the purposes of Immigration considerations for education would be an extra cost of over £6,000 per annum. This affects applications under the Immigration Ordinance 1999.
FIDC’s two-year corporate plan was then approved.
The MOU and Heads of terms were agreed for the lease of the Wool Processing and storage Facility together with steps for FIDC to proceed with the project.
Detailed proposals were approved for a Mining Licensing framework and Model Conditions for prospecting and exploring for stone, flint, chalk, gravel, sand and calcified seaweed. The policy proposals will be subject to consultation.
A paper proposing the creation of two new fixed term posts in the Environment Department dedicated to biodiversity and the other pollution control funded by the UK Governments CSFF ESCC funding and a small additional requirement for funding from FIG in the second year was approved.
Next a paper setting out a policy to remove the ability for contractors to extend employment on overseas contract terms for 5-7 years. This is in line with the policy of encouraging contractors wishing to stay to extend on local terms and apply for PRP.
This is in line with the policy of encouraging contractors wishing to stay to extend on local terms and apply for PRP.
New simplified Comments, Compliments and complaints policy was then agreed.
A paper dealing with Employment protection life Assurance under the Covid 19 recovery priorities was then discussed and due to vaccinations and the recommendations no further action was decided necessary.
A review of the visitor policy to add FIG/FCDO public Diplomacy guests, SAMA veterans and immediate family members, Media and film crews where press accreditation has been obtained, FIG supported scientists and researchers the definition of visiting friends was also clarified. This should provide some clarity for Falklands 40 visitors to plan.
The last matter to be considered was the schedule of meetings for January to December 2022.