For years, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government has been spending thousands of dollars on consultants and the reports are basically shelved and catching a lot of dust. There have been occasions whereby studies were commissioned twice for the same project.
I cannot blame the consultants as they completed their tasks. In fact they are the only ones that benefitted. I blamed the Government for not having a project team or coordinator in place to implement the recommendations of the various reports. Of course, the Government does not have to agree with everything a consultant reports but they can certainly use the reports as a guideline on moving forward with the relevant projects.
I challenged the new Government to review the existing reports and put a team in place to oversee the implementation of the various reports. The team needs to be full time and committed to the various projects.
Review of Statutory Bodies Report
In 2018, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government spent thousands of dollars on the review of Statutory Bodies. The only thing I recalled being changed was the number of board members being reduced for the National Health Insurance Board.
It is evident that no attention is being made to this report as the Statutory Bodies continue to have their own way. In the latest cabinet meeting summary, it was revealed that the FSC has purchased “Project House” and the Government has waived the stamp duty. If you drive by the airport, you will also see that the Airports Authority is building a huge building.
Wouldn’t it better if there was one building to house all of the statutory bodes and Government departments? Wouldn’t it also be more efficient to centralize some of the functions of the Statutory Bodies rather than each statutory body hiring staff who will not be preoccupied from 9 to 5? Some of the centralized functions can be finance, compliance and legal. For example, rather than having a finance team for each Statutory Board, a finance team can be used to service all of the Boards.
The salaries and the job functions of all these Boards need to be reviewed. Government can saved thousands of dollars if they are able to manage these statutory bodies better.
National Skills Audit Report
A National Skills Audit Report was done in May 2017 and here we are in 2021 and there is no evidence either that they are using this report other then references in speeches. The report is now perhaps outdated. If we had used the report from the time it was published, it would be beneficial. Despite the report being outdated a team can be in place to update the information in this report rather than recruiting a new consultant. The National Skills information is very important to know and use.
National Tourism and Strategic Implementation Plan
In 2014/2015, KPMG did a thorough report on tourism in the Turks and Caicos Islands. I remembered attending a tourism week conference a few years later and the recommendations were not implemented. Here we are in 2021 and I believe that this report can be still be used. I believe this is a report that the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourist Board should be using as a Bible. Now if they are using this report, the public does not know because we do not hear anything about this report nor do we see any evidence of the recommendations being implemented.
Strategic Analysis of TCI Financial services
KPMG also did a report on the strategic analysis of TCI Financial Services in 2018. We are now in 2021 and there is no physical evidence of progress. I believe there is a great potential to expand the Financial Services but it requires investment in human resources and marketing. There should be a dedicated full time team dealing with this.
There many reports available. Let us take them off the shelves and do an analysis of the reports. We can be more efficient and save the country thousands of dollars if we were to implement some of the recommendations from these reports.
In the meantime, let us hold off getting any more consultants and review what we have. In fact, most times consultants spend a lot of their time interviewing the people who already know the answers. Why don’t we use the people we have, to develop a strategic plan to move the country and organizations forward?