Llewelyn Williams
Llewelyn Williams

On Island for three weeks is Financial and Forensic Audit Trainer Llewelyn Williams.  Llewelyn will conduct a series of training sessions in HM Customs and Revenue in the area of process checking to ensure the local Tax Office staff develop the correct skills and principles to access and analyse information. 

Llewelyn will also conduct training on forensics as well as money laundering.  He commented:   

“Forensics means basically to look at something in detail and to search for something that isn’t apparent to others.

“If you are looking at an individual’s tax records for example, staff need to be keeping an eye out for anything in the books that might be indicative of money laundering.”  

 

Based at the terminal building at the Wharf, Llewelyn will also be checking the current systems and sharing his experiences and knowledge of running a tax office in the UK. 

 

Llewelyn has over thirty years experience in the UK in her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with specialties in tax fraud investigating and consultancy. LLewelyn said:  

 

“In essence, my job is to make sure the right person pays the right tax at the right time.” 

 

 

SHG

21 October 2013

On 27 August 2013, St Helena Government (SHG) held an Open Day at one of the three new steel framed Government Landlord homes at Bottom Woods.

In an interview at the time, Housing Executive, Andy Crowe explained that the three homes took approximately eight months from start on site to completion and cost just over £50, 000 each to build. Included in the cost were a fully fitted kitchen, bathroom, carpeting and tiling.

SHG wish to make it known that the cost was understated and that approximately £66,680 were actually spent on each property to cover various costs including basic construction, pavements and drainage, retaining wall, internal design, project management, plans and landscaping and other minor works.

SHG
18 October 2013

The delivery of the 2013-14 Capital Programme has now reached the halfway point and brings to an end the existing DfID business case, with documentation for the remaining six months currently being drafted.
The Capital Programme, made up of 31 individual projects, is managed by the SHG Programme Management Unit (PMU), and has been in place since March 2013. Delivery of the programme is reviewed regularly by elected members and SHG staff and is currently on target with significant progress being made on a number of key projects.

Work has been carried out on all Island schools and contracts have been awarded to local contractors to carry out stabilisation work at Quincy Vale, refurbishment of the Police Victim Suite and the rewiring of the Government Landlord Housing (GLH) flats in Jamestown, alongside additional works to GLH properties as they become vacant.

Cape Villa, the Prison, Half Tree Hollow Housing and the Challenging Behaviour Unit are in the final stages of detailed design work to form the tender documents to be advertised for bids from contractors in the coming months.

Connect Saint Helena have taken delivery of the additional six wind turbines to extend the Island’s use of renewable energy and are continuing with the planned upgrades to water treatment works across St Helena. The report to inform investment and upgrading work on sewerage across the Island is underway and is expected at the end of the year.

Work to improve the Horse Point Landfill facility is expected to commence next month along with work to upgrade the paving on Main Street in Jamestown and major road improvement works. The new ASCUYDA system for Customs will be operational very soon and initial design work for a slipway at the wharf in Jamestown is underway.

DfID On-Island Representative, Eddie Palmer said:

“It’s good to see real progress on improving the Island’s infrastructure, with the problems of the past being overtaken by a much stronger approach to planning, programming and implementation of individual projects. SHG and in particular the PMU are to be congratulated. Long may it continue!”

Eddie was also pleased to announce that DfID had secured an additional £900,000 funding for infrastructure on St Helena for this financial year. This means the total DfID funding for infrastructure this year will be £5.9million.

SHG
16 October 2013

A live Peacock butterfly was found flying in a container from the UK following the arrival of the RMS voyage 198. It was spotted by a member of the public and removed by a customs officer, before being handed over to the Biosecurity Team.

Peacock butterflies are common in the UK during summer. The caterpillars feed on nettles and hop plants, before crawling off to find a secure, dry place for turn into a chrysalis. They will spend up to 4 weeks as a chrysalis before hatching into the adult butterfly, which is large, red in colour and so-called due to the big blue eye-spots on the wings which look like the spots on a peacocks tail.

The butterfly found on the wharf would have hatched before arrival from a chrysalis which is thought to have been carried into the container attached to items being imported, or the caterpillar could even have crawled into the container itself.  It will be put down, pinned and added to our reference collection.

The Peacock butterfly isn’t known to be a crop pest, and this is the first recording for St Helena. If you see any others, please call Rosie Peters or Jill Key at ANRD on 24724.

SHG

16 October 2013

Harford Primary School hosted a drop everything and read day (DEAR) on Friday the 11 October.  Drop everything and read encouraged parents, family members and guardians to interact with children, listening to them read and guest speakers were also present reading to pupils.  

All primary schools have taken on reading day initiatives to develop and promote the importance of English and Reading. 

The fancy dress theme day encouraged pupils as well as teachers to tap into their imaginations and bring to life characters written in the pages.  Every class year had a different theme, nursery had Disney, Reception dressed in job roles, Year 1/2 took on the theme of traditional stories, Year 3/4 myths and legends and 5/6 visited the past and dressed in the Victorian era.

Marilyn Joshua, Advanced Skilled Teacher in English commented:

“The children showed real enthusiasm, and worked hard on their objectives for the day.  All classes had different activities relating to their themed topic and followed activities on character descriptions, biographies and identifying vocabulary.”

A show and tell assembly was held at the end of the day so children could display their achievements.

This reading day initiative builds upon the reading champion scheme implemented within the primary schools, of encouraging children to read at home and being rewarded in school through their efforts.  At Harford, bonus points are collated and recorded into the merit system; a reading champion will also be crowned at the end of the school year for the best reader in early year’s key stage 1 and 2. 

Marilyn said:

“It is important to encourage reading as it is essential and can be tapped into whatever path you choose.  The goal is for children when they grow up to pick up any book and be able to understand the language used, understand the story and be able read.”    

Photos attached submitted by Harford Primary School.

SHG

15 October 2013

In August, the four main importers of pesticides to the island, Queen Mary Stores, Solomons, St Helena Growers Co-operative Society and WA Thorpe and Sons signed a voluntary code of practice together with the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (ANRD), agreeing on standards for the way in which pesticides are stored and offered for sale to the public. The code aims to take steps to protect the public from the adverse effects of pesticides and ensure their safe and effective use to produce high quality pest and disease-free crops.

Pesticides are valuable tools in the battle against pests and weeds, but being poisons can be dangerous if not treated with respect. Risks run from the sales staff who handle the boxes, the sprayers and non-targets.   

Earl Henry of the St Helena Growers commented:

 “The use of pesticides is now a fact of life for us on St Helena; however we must carefully manage their uses to protect both the environment and the food chain.”  

Pesticides are formulated in two grades, home and garden use for the general public, and professional use, which are intended for use only by trained professionals.

Under the voluntary code, in the future professional use of products will only be sold to people who have received the required training. One of ANRD’s commitments is to provide this training for anyone interested in using pesticides and the first course will take place in January 2014, with funding assistance from Enterprise St Helena. A call for expressions of interest in getting training in pesticide use should call ANRD on 24724. Further course information, dates, venues and application details will soon be provided.

Darren Duncan, Head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division said:

This Code of Practice is a small but important step towards a more comprehensive pesticide management system for the Island.”

SHG

15 October 2013

 

Legislative Councillors will be holding a series of public meetings in November.  During the Constituency meetings there will be a minimum of three Legislative Council representatives present at each meeting.

An agenda will be published shortly, in order for core issues involving the Island to be addressed.

Members of the public will also be given the opportunity to raise their concerns with Legislative Councillors. Should any member of the public wish to place an item for consideration on the agenda prior to the meetings please contact Anita Legg on 22590 by Friday the 1 November.

The schedule is displayed below, all meetings to start at 7.30pm:

Wednesday 6 November, Blue Hill Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Gavin Ellick

Thursday 7 November, Ruperts (St Michael’s Church), attended by Tony Duncan, Bernice Olsson and Ian Rummery

Tuesday 12 November, Jamestown Community Centre, attended by Bernice Olsson, Ian Rummery and Christine Scipio O’Dean

Wednesday 13 November, Longwood (Harford Community Centre), attended by Brain Isaac, Les Baldwin and Ian Rummery

Wednesday 20 November, Levelwood (Silver Hill Bar), attended by Brain Issac, Christine Scipio O’dean and Tony Duncan

Thursday 21 November, St Pauls Kingshurst Community Centre, attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Gavin Ellick

Wednesday 27 November, HTH Community Centre, attended by Nigel Dollery, Derek Thomas and Les Baldwin

Thursday 28 November, Sandy Bay Community Centre, attended by Tony Green, Cyril George and Tony Duncan 

These are the first scheduled Constituency meetings for this elected Legislative Council.

SHG

15 October 2013

 

The Environmental Management Division currently has three draft environmental policies out for public consultation; these are Underwater Blasting, Peaks National Park Management Development Plan and Environmental Research Permitting.

Underwater Blasting provides a procedure for any blasting work to take place in or near the marine environment.  There are a growing number of potential coastal developments which have the potential to impact the marine environment during construction and the policy aims to minimise the negative impact on marine life.

The Peaks National Park Management Development Plan provides a legal basis for this National Conservation Area.  The plan has been devised after consultation involving workshops and meetings with stakeholders and individual land owners.  It aims to incorporate a number of functions and values including ecosystem services, conservation of native and endemic species and habitats, access for the local community as well as tourists.

The Environmental Research Permitting policy provides a framework to establish an environmental research permitting system, the aim of which is to effectively manage environmental research on the Island.  Research permitting systems have been introduced across a number of small islands including UK Overseas Territories.

The environmental research permitting policy recognises the value of environmental research – to the individual researchers themselves; their research institute; the international research community; and to St Helena, our environment and our people.

Acting Head of EMD, Isabel Peters said:

“A lot of preparatory work, led by EMD staff with input from key stakeholders, was done to get the policies to a stage where they could be taken out for public consultation. The draft policies were put forward to the ENRD committee in September and were approved for public consultation, which commenced soon after.”

As part of this consultation a public meeting is scheduled for the 17 of October at the ESH Information and Business Centre, located upstairs at the Canister.  The session which will start at 4.30pm and will provide an opportunity for anyone interested to learn more about the policies and ask questions and provide feedback.

The deadline for the public consultation has now been extended to allow further public input and will draw to a close on the 21 October 2013. 

Comments will then be collated and the documents revised to be presented to the ENRD committee for their final endorsement.  All documents and summaries are available on the SHG website on the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

SHG

15 October 2013

At the most recent open session of Executive Council the first ever set of Financial Statements for St Helena Government (SHG), on an accruals basis, under the International Public Sector Accounting Standards was signed by the Financial Secretary.  The opinion on these accounts was then given by the Chief Auditor.  This was an important step for SHG and further emphasises the open and transparent approach being taken by Government.

The Financial Secretary, Colin Owen, stated:

 “The Financial Statements are the most important financial documents ever produced by SHG. They provide for the first time a comprehensive and detailed picture of Government’s financial position.  The level of detail now being published surpasses anything previously issued and provides an excellent starting position for us to work on and improve.  We will be looking to provide detailed financial discussion and analysis as a forward to the accounts in the future.” 

Since June of this year St Helena Government has issued a monthly Performance Report giving an overview of SHG’s performance, corporate risk management, balance sheet, income and expenditure and capital expenditure.

Colin continued:

 “These Financial Statements add to the open approach being applied by Government and support our monthly report process.

“Overall I believe that the new format provides the reader with a better understanding of how SHG is doing, both financially and also in achieving the priorities set out in the Sustainable Development Plan.  Finally, I would like to thank all the staff within Corporate Finance and the St Helena Audit Service for their great efforts in producing and auditing the Statements.”   

All of the abovementioned documents can be found on the SHG website via the below links:

 St Helena Governments Financial Statements 2011-12

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/SHG-Audited-Financial-Statements-2011-12.pdf

Monthly Performance Reports

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/

SHG

15 October 2013

 

To reduce the impact of the Briars to Gordon’s Post road closure on members of the public, it has been agreed that there will not be any increase in bus fares for passengers utilising the public transport service routes A and G as a result of the longer journey into Jamestown.

The environmental, social and economic consequences of increasing fares have all been taken into consideration in arriving at this decision.  It is also intended to monitor the usage of these routes to ensure that there are no capacity issues for the public transport service.  Should sufficient demand exist, the possibility of providing an additional bus to cater for extra passengers will be given consideration.

Copies of revised timetables for routes A and G are available from Joshua’s Taxis, the Tourist Office and the Customer Services Centre in Jamestown.

SHG

11 October 2013