Report on Executive Council
27 September 2022
A meeting of Executive Council was held on 27th September 2022. MLAs Hansen, Roberts and Spink attended the meeting. All papers were approved unanimously unless stated otherwise.
The first paper was an exempt paper covering the Internal Audit Annual Report and opinion 2021-22 and the Chief Internal Auditor attended by VTC from the UK . The contents were noted and Exco approved the submission of the Internal Audit Annual Report and Opinion 2021-22 to the Public Accounts Committee.
Next was a report on the New Port Facility Stage 2 options and the Director of Development and Commercial Services and Port Project Manager attended. Following consideration of all the facts, ExCo decided not to proceed with Phase 2 of the new port facility.
All agreed that the Falkland Islands need a working, well maintained port facility, and that determination has not changed. The high cost of the fixed price construction and wider work programme means this decision was felt to be in the best interests of the Islands as a whole at this time. The original goal was to design and build a new port facility for between £50-70m. The detailed costs we have received associated with the current design would be in the region of £157m, excluding costs FIG would incur, which was considered by Members to be un-fundable.
The Port Project team in DCS will continue to work on options, and will consult widely with stakeholders as part of this work, before returning to ExCo with viable next steps in February 2023.
Next an exempt paper on Indemnification of Staff with Professional Registrations within the Directorate of Health and Social services was considered with the Director of Health and Social Services attending. Some in principle support for the proposals was given, and interim provisions will remain in place, though final decisions were deferred pending further information.
An exempt paper dealing with taxation of royalty payments was then considered, and the repeal of section 61 Taxes Ordinance 1997 (“s61”), a 10% tax on royalty payments made to persons not resident in the FI, was agreed.
A paper dealing with Environmental Impact Assessment Guidance and amendment of Regulations was then agreed giving greater guidance when such assessments are required
The Development Plan Health Check 2022 was noted with further annual reviews to include some consultation with stakeholders.
The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill- Electrically Assisted Cycles and Invalid Carriages was approved which amends the Road Traffic Ordinance 1948 (“the Ordinance”) to add a definition of ‘electrically assisted cycle’, modernise the definition of ‘invalid carriage’ and exclude both electrically assisted cycles and invalid carriages from the definition of ‘motor vehicle’. The Bill also updates sections of the Ordinance relating to cycles and makes consequential amendments to secondary legislation to ensure consistency in the use of terminology.
A paper on a National Contingency Plan for Emergency Animal Disease was considered. Exco Approve in principle the drafting of an Animal Health (Emergency Animal Disease) Order, under the UK Animal Health Act 1981 (“AHA”)(as amended) to enable emergency restrictions to be imposed on the movements of people and animals in or out of infected areas, which will support implementation of the NCPEAD It is proposed that the Order will also include an updated list of Notifiable Diseases.
A second paper dealing with Emergency Legislation to restrict access to Stanley Common in the event of an outbreak of avian Influenza was also considered and agreed given the issues this disease has caused in the UK.
A public paper dealing with the payment of Market Supplement Payments for FIG Recruitment and retention was then considered. The purpose is to introduce the flexibility for market supplements to be paid for posts where there are particular difficulties in recruiting or retaining staff. To note the draft Procedure which outlines how such supplements would be approved and kept under review. To agree that market supplements should be used sparingly, focused on posts where there are serious challenges in recruitment and/or retention, and the supplement should be a temporary uplift that does not affect the base salary for those posts. To agree that a panel of the Chief Executive, Director of HR and Financial Secretary should approve and review each case, to ensure consistency and control of the process; and note the provisions to ensure that there are no adverse effects for local private sector employers. There would also be a report back to Exco after a year on the use of the scheme.
A response to a Public Accounts Committee Letter “ Falkland Islands Government Financial Statements Year Ended 30th June 2021”was then approved to be published after Legislative Assembly.
Finally, the Community Development Scheme Report was noted and approved for publication.
MLA Roger Spink
Contact: Gilbert House, Stanley, Falkland Islands