The Governor has recently approved the new Procurement Regulations which replace the Contract Regulations 2006.

The new Procurement Regulations have introduced a number of new concepts that reflect a more modern procurement approach and are therefore significantly different to the old Contract Regulations, the main changes being:

•The threshold before the regulations apply has risen to £5,000. A number of other thresholds have also risen to reflect the fact that global prices have risen since the previous regulations were published.
•All procurements above £5,000 must be on a Rolling Procurement Plan before any procurement activity can take place. The Rolling Procurement Plan will be published on the SHG Website to ensure suppliers have increased visibility of upcoming procurement opportunities.
•The main procurement decisions with SHG will be based on risk and not value to ensure appropriate scrutiny of higher risk procurements whilst allowing the routine ones to proceed quicker and with less bureaucracy.
•Procurement Services (the old Central Procurement Unit) will play a much greater role in any Procurement classified as Medium or High risk. This will focus procurement skill and expertise where it is required.
•The main procurement decisions will now take place before the procurement commences to ensure appropriate scrutiny and control of what is to be purchased rather than at the end of the process when it is normally too late to affect the decision.
•The Contract Award process is significantly simplified provided the tenders/quotations are within the boundaries agreed at the commencement stage.
•Tender Board will be replaced by a Procurement Board with a significantly different Terms of Reference to focus on strategic decisions and not on process.
•To ensure greater transparency in the decision making process all waivers to the Regulations and a register of SHG Contracts above £5,000 will be published on the SHG website.

As with all major changes the new regulations have been subject to a phased implementation over the past two months, this has allowed approximately 100 SHG staff to be trained in the new Regulations and the Tender Board to complete its business.

The new Regulations will come into full effect on 1 October 2013. However, until the recruitment of the Head of Procurement Services and a number of other organisational changes are implemented there may be some deviation from the regulations regarding who in SHG conducts the procurement in order to ensure capacity constraints do not significantly impact service delivery.

Copies of the new Procurement Regulations, Terms of Reference for the Procurement Board and process maps which will hopefully help guide people through the new processes, can be found on the SHG website http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/, via email from the Financial Secretary on financial.secretary@sainthelena.gov.sh or by visiting Corporate Procurement at the Castle.

Further, officers within Finance and Corporate Procurement will be happy to discuss the new regulations with any interested parties, so please feel free to contact them via the Castle receptionist on telephone number 2470.

SHG
30 September 2013

A Phonics Information evening was held at Pilling Primary School for parents of children in the Foundation Stage, Nursery and Reception, on Wednesday 25 September 2013.

The evening was led by the Advisor for Early Years Education, Vivienne Ward, who spoke to lots of parents about how the teaching of Phonics helps children learn to read and why parents’ help in this was essential for good progress. Parents were then able to talk to Early Years staff, ask questions and participate in activities their children would encounter in the classroom. The evening was very well attended and ended with refreshments.

Director of Education and Employment, Colin Moore said

“I am delighted that so many parents attended this session. It is really important that parents can follow up at home what our teachers work on with the children in school. It is also very encouraging that so many parents are already asking for follow up sessions.

“By working together we can really give children the best possible start to life.”

Education and Employment Directorate
SHG
27 September 2013

With effect from 26 September 2013, Mr Rodney Buckley and Mr George Stevens have been appointed by His Excellency Governor Capes as Members of the St Helena Media Standards Commission.

The St Helena Media Standards Commission was formed under the Media Standards Ordinance 2011 to monitor and enforce media standards on St Helena and oversee media services delivered in or from the Island. Mr Buckley and Mr Stevens will serve on the Commission with President, Chief Magistrate John MacRitchie and fellow Member Miss Jennifer Corker MBE JP.

SHG
27 September 2013

SHG’s Conservation Architect, James Stewart is to leave his post in October.

James has been employed with SHG since late 2012 and has focused on a number of key infrastructure projects on the Island such as the temporary Challenging Behaviour Unit and the Jamestown Wharf development.

Acting Environmental and Natural Resources Director, Paul McGinnety commented:

“James has worked well on the Island and he has provided a great deal of support for his local counterparts. We wish him well for the future.”

SHG
27 September 2013

The temporary exemption of water bottles (including bottled water) and water containers from Customs Duty has now been lifted.  Throughout the period of the water shortage on Island, there was a raised concern that if the situation worsened retailers could not meet the demand of the public.  Reducing the level of duty was done to encourage retailers to purchase more items to benefit the needs of their customers.   

Due to the current state of the water situation, the exemption will be lifted commencing from the next Cape Town to St Helena trip expected to arrive 10 October 2013, and will no longer apply to retailers’ importing bottled water to the Island.

SHG

25 September 2013

 

The new Apprenticeship Scheme approved in March this year will be officially launched at the Careers Fair during the opening of the Fair at 10 am on Wednesday the 9 October 2013.  This Scheme makes provision for people of differing ages to access work based training and academic studies.  The scheme aims to provide purposeful and interesting training and study programmes to give people an opportunity to develop in their chosen field and improve their employability.

The new Apprenticeship Scheme replaces the Youth Training Scheme which mainly focused on developing practical skills in the work place.  In addition to the development of practical skills, the new Apprenticeship Scheme aims to incorporate opportunities to achieve accreditation.

The scheme makes provision for four bands, in which successful candidates can select the level of training and qualifications they require.  Band 4 requires higher level of assessed training in the workplace and a higher level of qualifications opposed to a lower level in Band 1.

There have been approximately 35 individuals who have made applications for apprenticeships, 23 have been placed within construction, automotive, nursing and clerical fields whilst studying towards their relevant qualifications which includes, Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQ’s), National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s) and General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE’s).  

On completion of the Apprenticeship scheme, those successful receive certificates, assessment of work reports, accredited qualifications and a bonus.

For those interested in taking part in the apprenticeship scheme contact Cynthia Bennett, Work Development Coordinator on Tel: 2607 or Email: development@education.gov.sh  or attend the Careers Fair on the 9 October to learn more through the scheduled Apprenticeship presentation.

SHG

24 September 2013

Connect Saint Helena are pleased to advise the lifting of the boil water notice in the Redhill treatment area.  On 12 June 2013 Connect St Helena issued a press release indicating that because of the problems experienced in supplying water to the Redhill Distribution area, the water quality could not be guaranteed and advised customers as a precautionary measure to boil water needed for domestic purposes.

Across the island Connect Saint Helena has now resumed a ‘business as usual’ status and there are no restrictions currently in place.

On behalf of Connect Saint Helena Ltd

24 September 2013

 

The Careers Fair 2013 is to be held at Prince Andrew School on 9 October from 10am to 5pm.

A Careers Fair was held last year and was the first in 6 years.  Due to the emphasis of private sector development & recruitment, it was evaluated that the Careers Fair should be held more frequently, encouraging promotion and employment within businesses, as well as promoting career progression.

Working closely with private and public sector employers, the Adult & Vocational Education Service (AVES) intends the Fair to provide information from a varied selection of organisations, on what specific jobs entail and skills and qualifications needed to pursue a chosen career.

Attending this year’s event include representatives from Environment and Natural Resources, Police, Education and Employment, Solomon and Company, Enterprise St Helena and Basil Read.  There will be a range of activities, some more hands on than others displaying specialist equipment which is used in selected businesses and sections within St Helena Government.        

Cynthia Bennett, Work Development Coordinator commented:  

“The Careers Fair is designed for everyone, people who seek personal development, students who have finished their academic education and those wishing a change in their career.  The fair is there to inspire individuals and to highlight that learning never stops.”

Along with displays in various stalls, presentations will also be held in a separate space to allow more detailed and one to one discussions with organisations.

A Career Week is anticipated in the week leading up to the fair, to allow individuals to get a firsthand look of how businesses function and operate and to have an insight into the careers within these businesses, enabling them to establish a career path which they would like to pursue. A schedule for this will be published shortly.

Private and Public Organisations who are interested in setting up a stall, presentation or participating in careers week should contact Cynthia Bennett on Tel: 2607 or Email: development@education.gov.sh  no later than the 1 October 2013.

SHG

24 September 2013 

 

 

St Helena is soon to introduce the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA). This web based system will improve efficiency and speed in the acceptance and clearance of cargo, tax and other paper transactions.  As well as improving and developing Government and statistical information; vital for accurate planning and budgeting.

To install and operate the new system, Government Officers, Jeremy Roberts, Head of Corporate IT and Juliette O’Dean, Customs Administrative Officer recently underwent a programme of training in Geneva.

Delivered by one of the key developers of the ASYCUDA system, Fabian Joseph, the training programme taught Jeremy and Juliette how to use the system and how to then pass their skills on to train colleagues on St Helena. Training was delivered in a dual classroom environment incorporating both Customs and IT systems simultaneously.

As Head of IT Jeremy’s training focused on the technical elements of the ASYCUDA system and with the help of his team at IT he will be supporting the system and maintaining the management of the project here on St Helena. During the duration of the project professional support will also be given from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Jeremy explained:

“The introduction of the ASYCUDA system to St Helena will allow Customs and Revenue to become more efficient and drive innovation across the whole of the Island. However we must recognise that once it gets rolled out it’s not going to be an instant fix to everything. We are therefore fortunate to have the professional support from our trainer in Geneva who helped to develop the system; any changes made to the software will also be filtered through to St Helena if felt it would work with our system.”

Juliette’s role is a more functional one in that she will manage the day to day operation of the system, trouble shooting and dealing with staff, government and public enquiries.  In moving forward Juliette’s first task is to get the system up and running within the Customs and Revenue section and train Customs and Revenue staff to use the system. Next month IT will deliver a live trial version of the system which will allow Juliette to train her staff over the next three months. During this time IT will continue to build the infrastructure needed to operate the system before it is rolled out to the public. Following staff training the Traders and Brokers will then be trained

It is expected that the system will be rolled out within the next six months.

Juliette explained the benefits of the ASYCUDA system:

“Having the ASYCUDA system on St Helena will move us away from a paper based system to an electronic one. This will then enable Customs and Revenue operations to use more streamlined procedures which will not only benefit Customs and Revenue, but the public as well.”

With the new system Customs entries will need to be electronically submitted through ASYCUDA by the importer themselves.

Juliette continued:

“Everyone will be able to access ASYCUDA via the internet, so customers can pre-clear their goods before collecting from Customs, making the process quicker and more efficient.”

Jeremy added:

“The system will enable Customs and Revenue procedures to become more bearable. We recognise that it will take time for merchants and brokers to get used to the new procedures and we are not expecting people to know everything within the first two months. However people will need to learn these new procedures as eventually the system will be expanded to the airport site and Rupert’s.

“This is just the first stepping stone which means that in the near future further personnel will need to undergo overseas training or a trainer from the UN will need to visit the Island in order for the system to grow and develop.”

SHG would like to thank Peter Henderson, Director General of HM Customs and Revenue who recommended introducing the system to St Helena, staff at HM Customs for their hard work, DfID for their financial assistance, the UNCTAD team in Geneva and Jeremy and Juliette for undertaking the training to enable the project to be delivered

Notes to Editors:

The ASYCUDA system was funded by the Department for International Development.

The system to be used on St Helena is the most up to date version of the software and was designed by a dedicated team from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The system can be found in over 100 jurisdictions worldwide but this is the first time for it to be introduced on an Island as remote as St Helena. (NB Montserrat is smaller than St Helena and has the system).

SHG

23 September 2013

 

 

SHG is preparing the documentation for Basil Read to redevelop the Horse Point landfill site. This is an important component of the Airport Project. The redevelopment will reduce the bird strike risk to aircraft by preventing the exposure of organic waste, which is a food source for birds.  This will also extend the life of the site.

This contract has been agreed under the Single-Sourcing (Basil Read) arrangement, the basis of which is:

  • There should be no impact on delivery of the Airport Project, or additional risk
  • Only large or specialist projects should be considered
    • Projects which deliver benefits to the airport project will be prioritised

Additionally, and in order for the airport to meet certification requirements and be allowed to operate, any airport construction works must meet stringent safety and quality assurance standards. Under the Airport Project, Basil Read is already required to operate to BS EN ISO 9001 (or 9002 as appropriate) international construction standards.

Given the urgency of the timescales and certification issues linked to the airport the regulations were waived in relation to this project. However all future projects using Basil Read through a Single-Source arrangement must firstly seek approval from the SHG Procurement Board, in line with the Procurement Regulations. The project has been fully endorsed and approved by DfID.

As the certification process is likely to start at the end of this year, there is also a tight deadline for completion of the redevelopment of the landfill site. Basil Read has the technical expertise, the economies of scale, the plant, a proven supply chain and the necessary internationally recognised quality standards to undertake the complexities of this large scale project. 

The landfill site redevelopment, under the solid waste management strategy, includes a waste reception building, the excavation of waste cells, the installation of specialist bird netting to cover waste cells, a civic amenity re-cycling facility, methods of preventing groundwater contamination, means for monitoring landfill gas, surface water drainage systems, and improvements to the internal roads to ensure all weather access. In addition, Basil Read are able to use spoil from their construction sites to restore the areas of the landfill site that are currently used for waste disposal, as well as areas that are blighted by surface litter.

The Environmental Management Division has been working with SLR Consulting, a specialist waste management and civil engineering company (who were involved in the development of the Solid Waste Management Strategy) for technical support, design and contract cost assurance.

Horse Point landfill will continue to operate throughout the redevelopment works to ensure that there is no disruption to the current solid waste collection and disposal service however public access may be restricted and this will be communicated accordingly.

The Project Manager for the Solid Waste Management Project is Mike Durnford, EMD’s Manager of Environmental Risk (Designate). The Project Manager for the construction phase is Bill Scanes. Bill was appointed through an open process of Expressions of Interest, Formal Application, Evaluation and Selection.  He has a wealth of knowledge and experience amassed from various projects around the world including the UK, Falkland Islands, South Africa, Libya and the Philippines. Notably Bill was employed as the Chief Engineer on St Helena by SHG between 2004 and 2006.

SHG

20 September 2013