Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 26, 2022 (SKNIS): The Cabinet Ministers met under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, on Monday 24th October 2022 and made several significant decisions to improve the well-being of our people.
In its ongoing thrust to ensure reliable and sustainable energy supplies the nation, the Cabinet of Ministers held discussions with representatives of the Nevis Electricity Company (NEVLEC) and the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) regarding the geothermal project on Nevis. Priority will be placed on interconnection of the St. Kitts and Nevis power grids which will allow for greater flexibility as the demand profile changes and generation capacity expands. The joint grouping hopes to secure a drilling contractor by the end of the year with the hopes of commencing drilling in the first half of 2023. Members of the Caribbean Development Bank and the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency were also in attendance.
The Cabinet was presented with the first drafts of the Integrity in Public Life (Amendment) Bill and new Anti-Corruption Bill by the Honourable Attorney-General Garth Wilkin. The Bills were approved for circulation to civil society organizations for their input before being returned to Cabinet for final approval. The Bills represent the first phase of swift operationalization of the Government’s anti-corruption/good governance structures, by giving the Integrity Commission the necessary legislative support and creating the Office of the Special Prosecutor to receive complaints, investigate, and prosecute acts of corruption throughout the Public Service and within Statutory Corporations. The Anti-Corruption Bill specifically creates criminal offences of corruption, seeks to protect whistle-blowers, and gives the Special Prosecutor powers to not only prosecute offenders (subject to the Director of Public Prosecution’s constitutional powers) but to seek recovery of proceeds of corrupt activities.
The Cabinet approved the amended Architects Registration (Amendment) Bill which was crafted after consultation with the St Kitts-Nevis Institute of Architects. The Bill seeks to finally operationalize the legislation, initially passed in 2010, to regulate the practice of architecture. The approved Bill also provides a pathway for persons practicing as architects for many years, without formal certificates, to qualify for registration as Architects.
The Cabinet of Ministers continues discussions on the National Health Insurance preliminary report with the aim of making it a reality for the Citizens of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. A comprehensive document was presented by the Minister responsible, The Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, outlining the work done and action plan to date.
This signals the government’s intention to fulfill its pledge to provide affordable health insurance and high-level healthcare services to the Federation. Further updates will be provided to the public as the process continues.