Open to the Public from 9.30am

Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 4 March 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Starting at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the one open agenda item: Legal Threshold for the International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) (ISA) Compliant Audit.

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Lawson Henry.    

SHG

28 February 2014

 

 

The Elections Ordinance 2009 provides for Nominations to be delivered to the Returning Officer not later than noon on the last day appointed for the Nomination of Candidates. The closing date for nominations for the 2014 Bye-Election (to be held on Wednesday 12 March 2014) was today, Wednesday 26 February 2014.  

Returning Officer, Gillian Francis, this afternoon announced the names of three Candidates who will be standing for the upcoming Bye-Election and a seat on Legislative Council.  

The Candidates are as follows:

Corinda Sebastiana Stuart Essex:  of “Villa Ajaccio”, Napoleon Street, Jamestown

Brenda Elaine Moors: of Alarm Forest

Lionel George Williams: of Brenville” Nr Half Tree Hollow, St Paul’s.        

The full Declaration, including the names of Sponsors, will be Gazetted as soon as possible and hard copies will be placed at the usual outlets and published on the SHG website.     

Polling Day is set for Wednesday 12 March 2014. Polling Stations will be at the Levelwood, Jamestown, Harford, Blue Hill, Sandy Bay, Half Tree Hollow, and Kingshurst Community Centres, and at Judges Lodge, Alarm Forest. 

Further information, including the importance of voting and how and where to vote will be published as an insert in next week’s newspapers.

SHG

26 February 2014

Executive Council met today, Tuesday 25February 2014, with one item on the Open Agenda – an information paper on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, presented by the Attorney General.  The UK Government has stated that it hopes that the Convention can be extended to all Overseas Territories by the end of 2014.

This is an important Convention which will help protect women against discrimination, particularly with regards to rights in the workplace and in other ways.

On the Closed Agenda, the Capital Programme Manager gave a presentation on the 2014-15 proposed capital programme.  This was held in closed session as it includes budget estimates for various  projects which have yet to go out to tender.  ExCo had previously met with the full Legislative Council to discuss this programme and there was broad agreement on the main priorities. 

Executive Council agreed the capital expenditure programme for 2014-15, with a caveat on the SHG reorganisation and relocations element – to be reviewed once further details are available.

Under Any Other Business, there was a discussion on some difficulties that have occasionally been experienced by some local investors.  It was noted that the new Deputy Chief Executive for Economic Development has been tasked with responsibility for taking forward Enterprise St Helena as a one stop shop for all potential investors.  Executive Council was pleased with the assurances given that this would address the various issues.

In closing the meeting, a tribute was paid to Shirley Anderson-Leo, the former Senior Nursing Officer on St Helena, who passed away last week, aged 61.  In this tribute she was described as St Helena’s Florence Nightingale.  Her work on St Helena, Ascension and internationally, and her dedication to those she nursed, was recognised appreciably by Executive Council.

The meeting ended at 10:40am

ExCo

25 February 2014

Nominations are currently being invited for the Certificate and Badge of Honour Awards, 2014.

These awards are available for the Governor to award to public servants for loyal and valuable service worthy of recognition or, in the case of other persons, for their loyal and meritorious conduct that has provided exceptional benefit to the people of St Helena.

The Certificate and Badge of Honour awards will be presented at the Queen’s Birthday Garden Party at Plantation later this year. Up to six awards can be made at any one time.

Nominations are also invited for the Acts of Bravery Award, 2014.

Nominations should ideally be made to recognise Acts of Bravery that have taken place since the last call for nominations in June 2013.

Nomination forms for the 2014 awards are available from Mrs Carol George, Corporate Services Executive Manager, the Castle and should be completed and returned in a sealed envelope marked “CONFIDENTIAL” to the “Executive Secretary, Honours Committee” at the Castle by Monday, 17 March 2014.

For more information please contact the Corporate Services Executive Manager at the Castle on telephone number 22695 or e-mail:

carol-george@sainthelena.gov.sh

Corporate Services

SHG

25 February 2014

On Tuesday 18 February, Year 9 students together with their parents and guardians were invited to an Options Evening at Prince Andrew School. The evening was well attended, with almost all students represented.

Two weeks prior to the evening, students had listened to detailed talks from their teachers on the various courses available to them. These included GCSE courses, vocational options, the new range of ICT courses and those GCSE courses provided through the Distance Learning programme. 

This is an important stage in the educational development of students. The choices students make now will have an impact on their opportunities for continuing education through to employment.

Following a welcome by Headteacher Paul Starkie, Deputy Headteacher Barbara Osborne spoke about the importance of the options process and factors to consider when making their choices. Advisory Teacher for Science and Curriculum Manager Kerry Lawrence explained the process for students when making their choices and the timelines involved. Head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Philip Francis then gave a brief outline of the course choices in ICT which, for this year, will be compulsory for all students in year 10. Philip explained the importance of ICT literacy for all students and the various courses that will provide access to recognised ICT qualifications for all.

Headteacher Paul drew the presentations to a close by informing students, parents and guardians of the various levels of support that will be available to them, from Head of Year 9 Nicky Plato and the tutorial teams who will be there to help and, of course, their subject teachers and the school leadership, who will guide and advise students through the options process over the coming weeks.  The presentations were brought to a close with a short interview with Crystabelle Greentree, a student in Year 11, who talked to the audience about the challenges of transition from Year 9 to Year 10 and the start of GCSE courses. She spoke of the importance of being committed to study both at school and at home and the opportunities that studying hard can give you for your future. 

It was then time for the students, parents and guardians, to view the displays and speak with the subject teachers leading the courses. This was perhaps the most important part of the evening. The feedback about the Options Evening was extremely positive from all.

Prince Andrew School

SHG

25 February 2014

Chief of Police, Trevor Botting, this afternoon stated:

‘It was wrongly reported this morning on Saint FM that the St Helena Sea Rescue Boat was out of service and unavailable for emergencies. This seems to be linked to an incident on Friday morning (21/02/14) when a yacht slipped its moorings in James’ Bay and was drifting out to sea.

‘The yacht in question was recovered by the WideAwake and returned without incident to its moorings. The Sea Rescue Team had deployed to support the WideAwake, but stood down when it was established that this was no longer necessary.

‘Saint FM suggested that the Sea Rescue Boat was not fit for purpose and that no consultation was carried out before its purchase.  Again, this is incorrect, and was broadcast without checking the facts. There was wide consultation with a range of stakeholders before the purchase of the current craft, including with local fisherman, divers and harbour authorities.  Such consultation is critical to ensuring that the most suitable craft is obtained to suit local sea conditions and the types of rescue the boat may have to carry out.

‘Similar work is currently being undertaken to establish what sea rescue craft may be required to enhance our capability prior to the opening of the Airport.

‘To conclude, let me be absolutely clear.  Contrary to the entirely wrong and irresponsible report on Saint FM this morning, the Fire and Sea Rescue Service remains fully prepared to deploy in response to incidents in the waters around St Helena. The safety of Saints, visitors and those passing by remains our top priority.’  

Trevor Botting

Chief of Police

 24 February 2014

The public is reminded that they have just two days to submit candidate Nominations for the 12 March Bye-Election. The closing date for Nominations is this Wednesday, 26 February 2014, at 12 noon.

All Nominations should be delivered within this time to Returning Officer Mrs Gillian Francis at the Castle, Jamestown.

Do not leave it until the last minute to submit your Nomination – the forms will need to be checked by the Returning Officer and you should give yourself enough time to make any corrections if the form has not been properly completed.

Remember candidates nominated for Election must:

  • Be over the age of 21 and,
  • Be named on the Register of Electors dated 7 February 2014.

 

Nomination forms are available from any of the Assistant Registration Officers in the different districts around the Island, who can also provide assistance when completing forms. The names of Assistant Registration Officers were printed in the newspapers dated 13 and 14 February 2014.

Further details on nominating candidates can be obtained from Registration and Returning Officer Gillian Francis on telephone numbers 22470 or 22314, or via email: deputychiefsec@sainthelena.gov.sh

SHG

24 February 2014

 

Baton at Rosemary

The Commonwealth Queen’s Baton completes its busy schedule on St Helena today as it comes to the end of its visit.

Today’s programme, organised by the National Amateur Sports Association St Helena (NASAS), saw the Baton visit Pilling Primary School, Plantation House to meet Jonathan the Tortoise, Cape Villa Sheltered Accommodation, Prince Andrew School and the General Hospital – before a final walk through Jamestown.

Louise Martin CBE, Hon Secretary of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Association, who is accompanying the Baton, said:

“Words really can’t describe the reception we’ve had while on St Helena, it’s been second to none and more importantly for us it’s the community spirit that’s here. This is one place that has actually shown what we want to do – take the Baton to the communities and let everyone, see it, feel it and touch it.

“I can’t believe what we’re seeing on St Helena, it’s absolutely fantastic. All I can say to everybody is thank you very much for everything you’ve done for us since we’ve been here and we’ll be very sorry to leave.”

The Queen’s Baton and the Relay Team will depart St Helena this afternoon bound for its next stop at Ascension Island.

Seven photos are attached to this release.

SHG

21 February 2014

Open to the Public from 9.30am Executive Council will meet on Tuesday 25 February 2014 in the Council Chamber.

Starting at 9.30am, the meeting will be open to the public for the one open agenda item: An information paper on The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Executive Council Members are: Ian Rummery, Cyril George, Christine Scipio-O’Dean, Leslie Baldwin and Lawson Henry.

SHG

21 February 2014

At the Public Accounts Committee meeting held on 10 February 2014, the Financial Secretary gave an undertaking to issue a press release on the differences between Qualified and Unqualified Opinions. This follows the audit of SHG’s Financial Statements for 2011/12 by the Chief Auditor.

What is an Audit Opinion?

An Audit Opinion is a statement by the Auditor as to whether or not the financial statements are materially correct.There are four types of opinions: Unqualified, Qualified, Adverse and Disclaimer.

What is an Unqualified Opinion?

An Unqualified Opinion is the best result, and is often referred to as a ‘Clean Opinion’.  It means that the financial statements are materially correct.  This can be described as either ‘presented fairly’ or ‘true and fair’.

What does Qualified mean?

A Qualified Opinion means that the financial statements are materially correct, except for one or more specific errors (with the rest of the financial statements being fairly presented).

What about Adverse and Disclaimer?

An Adverse Opinion means that there are so many errors that the financial statements are not materially correct.

A Disclaimed Opinion means that the Auditor has not been able to obtain enough evidence to come to a conclusion.

What does this mean for St Helena Government?

SHG’s 2011/12 accounts were Qualified on two matters – the Eligibility of Social Benefit Payments and the Pension Cost Disclosure.  An Adverse Opinion was given in regards to the Non-consolidation of Subsidiary Bodies.

Future Improvements

The Qualification for the Pension Cost Disclosure should disappear in 2012/13, but the other two Qualifications will remain. Work will be carried out on pension legislation in mid 2014 – to remove the Qualification of Pension Costs.  The Adverse Opinion on consolidation requires a detailed review, including of the cost v benefits of such a consolidation and the benefits of this to the general public.

Want to Know More?

SHG’s Financial Statements for 2011/12, the Chief Auditor’s Opinion and his Management Letter can all be found on the SHG website at: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/finace/ or by calling into Corporate Finance at the Castle and requesting a copy.

SHG

21 February 2014