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Bermuda Government Boards & Commissions

More than 108 advisory bodies and organizations with individuals appointed or renewed yearly

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By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) exclusively for Bermuda Online

Bermuda Government building

See Bermuda Government for earlier full description of the types - Executive, legislative and judicial - ministries, departments and budget.

Bermuda size & population 20.75 (Twenty point seven five) square miles in total. 65,200 residents
Population density per square mile 3,142 (Three thousand, one hundred and forty two)
Number in Cabinet 13. Same number as USA, equivalent in Bermuda to 0.63 (Point six three) per square mile. They have "The Honorable" before their name. 
Number of elected legislators in House of Assembly and their salaries 36. Equivalent to 1.93 (One point nine three) per square mile. They have "MP" for Member of Parliament after their name.  In 2004, all MPs earned a minimum of $38.171. If they are also Cabinet Ministers, they earn at least $86,123 a year in addition. It was announced in 2003 that all Cabinet Ministers will earn in excess of $100,000 a year. Some Cabinet Ministers are already believed to earn over $100,000 a year, plus almost unlimited expenses they can charge to credit cards for reimbursement by - or charged directly to - the Bermuda Government. It has been said publicly at some point the number of Ministers (including the Premier) will be reduced from 12 to 8, but that Ministers will be full time not part time and will be paid substantially more than now. Some former Cabinet Ministers (like Ms. Webb and former Premier Pamela Gordon) have stated they want full-time salaries because they are full-time at their Ministries. There is an unofficial consensus within Cabinet members that their salaries should be nearly doubled, to at least the same level as the $127,000 paid annually to Permanent Secretaries, if not more. It is not a view shared by most members of the public.

These, the huge numbers of Bermudians and others the Bermuda Government employs as a percentage of the total working population and the cost of gasoline for aircraft and cruise ships are the main reasons why Bermuda is such an expensive destination. In the high season (April through October) it costs North Americans more to go the 720 miles to Bermuda from North America than it does to go the 3,000 -4000 miles to Hawaii or Europe. And at any time of year, it costs Europeans far more to go to Bermuda than it does to go to the USA, Canada, Middle East, Thailand, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand or Hawaii.

Number of appointed politicians in Senate 11. Equivalent to 0.53 (Point five three) per square mile. They have "Senator" before their name. In 2004, all Senators earned a minimum of $25,519.20. If they are also Cabinet Ministers, they earn this plus what is shown above under "Number of elected legislators." 
Number of Government Boards About 108. All require the approval of the Premier who controls all Public Information. See Bermuda Government Boards separate website shown at the end of this file.
Number of Justices of the Peace Over 400, or 19.3 (nineteen point three) per square mile. They have "JP" after their name. Unlike in the USA, they do not perform weddings but may be asked to sign search warrants, etc. Also, during General and Bye Elections, they serve as Returning Officers.
Number of Police About 421, over 20 per square mile. Plus, there are Reserve officers.
Number in Bermuda Regiment All Bermudian, the authorized strength of which is 600 members, or 28.92 (twenty eight point nine two) per square mile, mostly part time. 
Registered voters who participated in 2013 General Election 29,816 (compared to 29,638 in 1998). 75.06% compared to 81.4% in 1998. Total number of registered voters is 39,000.

Bermuda Government Boards & Commissions

The over 108 boards each have individual political appointments acceptable to the Premier. They include, at the top, a reference to the relevant Act of Parliament. They advise their respective Ministers who may or may not accept their recommendations. 

The boards or commissions are published here do not seem to appear on the Bermuda Government's own website. Individuals appointed to each board are not shown on this website (those needing information on the yearly or periodic appointments to each board should consult the Bermuda Government, as it appoints each board). 


Advisory Architectural Panel Development & Planning Act 1974. 
Ageing and Disability Services Until September 2015 the National Office for Seniors and the Physically Challenged (NOSPC). Continental Building, on the corner of Church Street and Cedar Avenue, Hamilton. Or by Airmail at P. O. Box HM 1195, Hamilton HM EX, Bermuda. Open 8:45 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday. Phone (441) 292-7802. Fax (441) 292-7681. Under the remit of the Ministry of Health. 
Aging Well Committee 2017. November 20. An ageing well committee chaired by Government MP Derrick Burgess was announced this afternoon by David Burt, the Premier. Comprising members of the private sector as well as the civil service, the committee is to produce is to produce a Bermudian charter of rights for seniors. Members include staff from Ageing and Disability Services, the Department of Financial Assistance, the health insurance department, a gerontologist, and long-term care consultants for the Ministry of Health. Mr Burgess said the charter aims to be “a reference document stating the fundamental principles and rights”, especially for those depending on others for care. Mr Burgess said that Bermuda’s elderly population was rising: reports showed 8,716 residents aged 65 and older in 2010, which was set to rise 38 per cent to 12,062 by 2020 — while in a 2011 survey, 29 per cent of seniors reported having a disability. Noting Mr Burgess’ history of advocacy for the elderly, Mr Burt called him “this Government’s voice and conscience on issues impacting our seniors.  In addition to these qualities, he is also a senior.” Mr Burt said that an ageing well strategy, begun under the former Government, had been drafted and would be released for public consultation as early as next month. The Premier added: “Living with dignity should not depend on how much money a senior has at his or her disposal.”
Air Advisory Committee Ministry of Transport. Constitution of Bermuda (2-1 Section 61 -4).
Air Transport Licensing Board Civil Aviation (Licensing of Air Transport and Commercial Flying) Act 1950. Channel House, 1 Longfield Road, Southside, St. David's, DD 03.  
Appeals Committee - Education Education Act 1996. 
Appeals Tribunal Hotel Licensing  
Appeals Tribunal Banks & Deposit Companies Act 1999. 
Architects Registration Council Architects Registration Act 1969. A full list of registered architects in alphabetical order of name with their qualifications, is published every January. It includes those who left Bermuda years ago. Some have qualified academically and professionally as architects. Others have not.
Archives Advisory Council The Bermuda Archives Act 1974. Includes representatives of Bermuda Heritage Foundation; Bermuda Historical Society; Bermuda Maritime Museum Association; Bermuda National Trust; St. George's Historical Society.
Audit Committee Audit Act 1990.  


Bermuda Airport Authority

 2018. January 19. Mark Fields, chairman of the organisation tasked to oversee the management, operations and redevelopment of the airport, said: “Our organisation is less than a year old. “We essentially started from nothing, but we are pleased with the leadership of the Authority’s chief executive officer, Lester Nelson, in moving quickly to establish a strong, experienced team of aviation, engineering and financial professionals, as well as internationally recognized technical advisers to oversee Bermuda’s interests in this large and important infrastructure project.” The Authority, which owns the airport on behalf of the Government and people of Bermuda, was established on March 2 last year. It was set up to ensure contractual value is delivered throughout the 30-year public-private partnership with Bermuda Skyport Corporation. The authority’s responsibilities also include air traffic control, meteorological services, aeronautical information services, and airport rescue and firefighting. The Authority is also responsible for regulating fees and charges. Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, said: “I’m delighted to join the Bermuda Airport Authority board and staff in welcoming stakeholders this afternoon. I’m happy to say that the authority has moved quickly to position themselves in this important role. The LF Wade International Airport is Bermuda’s only air link to the rest of the world and therefore it is vital to our economic lifeblood, essential to international business and tourism. We are happy to have these highly qualified Bermudians involved in the protection of our collective interests.” Members are Ian MacIntyre, Robert Steynor, Marshall Minors, CEO Lester Nelson, Walter Roban, Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, chairman Mark Fields, deputy chairman Andrew Parsons, Judith Hall-Bean, Lawrence Scott.

Bermuda Arts Council Bermuda Arts Council Act 1969.  
Bermuda Aircraft Registry In May 2019 added its 900th aircraft, a significant milestone which seals its reputation as a responsible, stable and growth-orientated organization. 
Bermuda Bar Council Bermuda Bar Act 1974.
Bermuda Business Development Agency Founded in 2013 Bermuda is an offshore jurisdiction with a platform to offer innovative solutions to the global marketplace during an era that poses both great challenges and opportunities. It has received strong support from the current and former government and the private sector in its activities. Amid merger activity in the insurance sector, fierce competition from other jurisdictions and regular global assaults on offshore financial centres, BDA has contributed to the formation of new companies, improved branding of the island and helped promote industry growth that has led to the creation of new jobs. 
Bermuda Business Development Corporation (BBDC) Formed in 2013 by Government through the Ministry of Economic Development.  A private/public partnership intended to spearhead the promotion of Bermuda as a preferred domicile for a variety of international business activities, including reinsurance, asset management, trusts and fund administration. This has involved organizing all the relevant stakeholders and formulating a coherent mission for the BBDC and strategies to achieve that mission. The Government, via BBDC, will continue to support Bermudian entrepreneurs in their quest for success and will take any other necessary steps to stimulate economic growth through non-tax policy driven initiatives.
Bermuda Betting Licensing Authority Bermuda Government.
Bermuda Cadet Corps Bermuda Cadet Corps Act 1944. 
Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission 2018. April 13. The Government is still to decide if betting shops need tougher regulation to block money laundering and terrorism funding as a critical international assessment looms on the horizon. David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, admitted in November that the laws governing the industry were “outdated” and that the island needed to assess the risks to see if new legislation was necessary. But with only five months to go before overseas experts from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force visit the island to assess whether sufficient countermeasures are in place in the financial sector, nothing has been decided. A government spokeswoman, asked if the risks had been assessed to see if anti-money laundering and antiterrorism funding laws needed to be introduced, told The Royal Gazette in February: “This assessment has begun.” She said at the start of this month there was no change to that response. Betting shops fell under Mr Burt’s brief as finance minister when he made his comments in November but tourism minister Jamahl Simmons told Parliament in February that responsibility for managing and regulating the industry would soon be transferred to the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission. In a Supreme Court writ filed in March by the commission, the regulatory body said its remit had been “widened to embrace the governance and regulation and supervision of the betting industry as a whole”. The BCGC falls under Mr Simmons’s brief. Warnings about the absence of controls to prevent dirty-money transactions within the betting industry have been made repeatedly to Bermuda’s leaders, including by former BCGC executive director Richard Schuetz. In a July 2016 letter sent to Michael Dunkley, then the premier, Mr Schuetz warned that activities in the betting shop industry could “damage many sectors of the economy” by “negatively affecting” CFATF’s assessment. The letter was shared with Mr Burt, then Opposition leader. In his resignation letter of July 2017, Mr Schuetz wrote: “The Bermuda I have come to know has indicated a lack of respect in making a reasonable effort to adhere to generally accepted international standards for anti-money laundering activities within its existing betting products, in particular the betting shops. I have spent a great deal of time and effort over the last 18 months in working to point out the glaring deficiencies in the anti-money laundering regime of this island’s betting sector and am now convinced there is an absence of political will to address these deficiencies.” Mr Burt said in November that the international Financial Action Task Force did not identify betting as a sector that must be subject to anti-money laundering and antiterrorist funding obligations and supervision. “Only casino gaming is named,” said the Premier, adding that FATF standards were the minimum standards and FATF required countries to implement a risk-based AML/ATF framework. He added: “Bermuda must assess the money-laundering risks within the betting sector to determine if AML/ATF laws need to be put in place.” Bermuda has six licensed betting shops. Those applying for a bookmaker’s licence under the Betting Act 1975 have to first get a certificate from the Minister of Finance stating that he is satisfied with the business reputation and financial stability of the applicant. The Ministry of Finance must conduct due diligence before a certificate is issued and only then can an applicant seek a licence from the Betting Licensing Authority. Members of the public can view files on betting licences but the paperwork does not show whether the licensing authority conducts background checks on foreign individuals with a stake in betting shops here. If CFATF looks at the money-laundering countermeasures in place for the betting industry, it is likely to consider whether industry operators are subject to stringent enough suitability checks. The government spokeswoman said: “A preliminary review has begun of the relevant legislation [governing betting shops] to determine what amendments are required.” She said progress on updating the framework for the licensing of bookmakers and betting agents would not be made until an assessment of the current framework was completed. The spokeswoman added that the overall assessment of oversight of the betting industry would include a review of whether the selling of overseas lottery tickets needed to be monitored by the Government. Deborah Blakeney, BCGC’s general counsel, did not respond to e-mailed questions by press time.

2018. March 14. The Chief Justice has revealed why he barred the media and public from a court hearing involving an attempt by the island’s gaming commission to silence its former executive director. The chambers session on March 7 in the matter of Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission versus Richard Schuetz was held behind closed doors, despite a request from The Royal Gazette to attend and report on the civil proceedings. Chief Justice Ian Kawaley said in a decision released on Monday that Richard Horseman, the lawyer representing the publicly funded commission, convinced him there was a “sufficient risk of damage to the plaintiff” if the regulatory body’s application for an injunction against Mr Schuetz was held in open court and if Mr Schuetz himself was aware of it. A temporary injunction was later granted and Mr Schuetz is now barred from talking about his time at the commission on the grounds that he breaches his contract by doing so. The gagging order obtained by the commission, in the absence of any counsel representing Mr Schuetz, bars the former executive director from any disclosure “whether directly or indirectly, and/or to further use the confidential information that is either in his custody, or care or possession or control or he has access to, or at all”. It states Mr Schuetz could be jailed, fined or have his assets seized if he breaches the order, as could “any other person who knows of the order” who helps or permits him to breach it. In his decision on the need for a secret hearing, Mr Justice Kawaley said: “Excluding the press from the ... hearing was, in my judgment, justifiable on the facts of this particular case. The private hearing was reasonably required both to support a claim designed to protect confidential information and to protect the authority of the court. “Whether the right balance has been struck will not always be a straightforward question and this is par excellence the difficult sort of issue upon which reasonable judges and reasonable journalists are likely to differ.” The Chief Justice added: “The plaintiff adduced what was on its face credible and cogent evidence that the defendant had in recent months flagrantly breached [his] contractual obligations and had embarked upon a concerted campaign to undermine the plaintiff’s operations. In part because of this evidence, it was not obvious to me what further contractual breaches might be triggered by giving the defendant notice of the injunction application. However, Mr Horseman eventually persuaded me that a sufficient risk of damage to the plaintiff flowing from further disclosures and/or disparaging remarks was made out to justify proceeding with the merits of the application in private.” The writ filed by the commission against Mr Schuetz was available to the public last week, according to lawyer Jordan Knight, of MJM law firm, who obtained a copy from the Supreme Court. The Royal Gazette has applied for a copy but has yet to receive it. Mr Schuetz resigned from the commission in July and left Bermuda in December to return to the United States. He was an outspoken figure while here and has commented since his departure on the potentially bleak outlook for the island’s fledgling casino industry. In his resignation letter, he said the island lacked the “political will” to address the “glaring deficiencies in the anti-money-laundering regime of this island’s betting sector. From my experience on this island over the last 22 months, I believe that Bermuda should seriously consider not having casinos and other forms of gaming,” he wrote. Neither the commission nor Mr Schuetz responded to requests for comment.

2018. March 8. The former executive director of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission was barred yesterday by a court from any discussion of his time in charge of the regulatory body. Lawyers acting for the BCGC won a temporary order from Chief Justice Ian Kawaley in Supreme Court against Richard Schuetz after a private hearing in chambers. The injunction forbids Mr Schuetz from any disclosure “whether directly or indirectly, and/or to further use the confidential information that is either in his custody, or care or possession or control or he has access to, or at all”. The judgment quoted Mr Schuetz’s 2015 employment agreement. The injunction added that Mr Schuetz could not “whether directly or indirectly, make publish or otherwise communicate any disparaging or derogatory statements, whether in writing or otherwise, concerning the commission or any person to whom powers and duties have been delegated by the commission or government bodies, departments or ministries with which the commission works”. The injunction also ordered Mr Schuetz to “make full disclosure” of any confidential information “belonging to his former employers” obtained during his time at the BCGC, and to return it to the organisation. The injunction came after the BCGC launched a civil action against Mr Schuetz, who quit his post last July and left the island in December to return to the United States. An application by The Royal Gazette to attend the hearing yesterday was denied by Mr Justice Kawaley. The Chief Justice said the evidence presented to the court indicated there was sensitive material involved and to hold the hearing in public could prejudice the plaintiff’s case. Mr Schuetz, who was not represented in court, can apply to Supreme Court to “vary or discharge this order”. Yesterday’s chambers hearing at the Supreme Court was for the judge to hear an “ex-parte application”, which usually involves a request for a temporary order by the plaintiff, often in the absence of the respondent’s counsel. The civil case and the names of the parties involved were listed on a court schedule issued on Tuesday afternoon. But an amended court schedule released yesterday morning had the names of the parties removed. Mr Schuetz has been an outspoken figure in Bermuda’s emerging casino industry. He recommended that the former One Bermuda Alliance government ditch an agreement it entered into to give local company MM&I Holdings a lucrative contract for a cashless gaming system. Mr Schuetz criticized a forum held by the Progressive Labour Party on gaming last year when in Opposition, featuring MM&I’s American business partner, Banyan Gaming. He also spoke out against an amendment to gaming legislation to bring the commission under ministerial control. Mr Schuetz suggested in his resignation letter that Bermuda should “seriously consider” ditching gaming altogether — or risk its reputation as a clean financial jurisdiction. He wrote: “My primary reason for resigning is that I have lost confidence that the Government of Bermuda and its legal system can provide the necessary protections to offer well-regulated casino gaming on the island. I sincerely believe that this island will prove incapable of keeping people with questionable backgrounds and behaviors away from the industry.” Mr Schuetz added: “The Bermuda I have come to know has indicated a lack of respect in making a reasonable effort to adhere to generally accepted international standards for anti- money-laundering activities within its existing betting products, in particular the betting shops.” Lawyer Timothy Marshall represented The Royal Gazette at the Supreme Court yesterday. He said: “We made the arguments that the public should have access to this matter, which is of considerable public interest. The Chief Justice said he had considered the material filed and was satisfied that there was a prima facie case to have an ex-parte hearing in the absence of the public. He disagreed with our argument that the process of whether a hearing is going to be public or private should be held in open court. He determined that that is not the correct manner in which he determines these types of applications.” Jordan Knight, a lawyer at MJM law firm, also spoke during the proceedings. He said he was not there to represent anyone, but had obtained a copy of the writ filed by the commission from the court. Mr Knight said that any member of the public could do the same and that there could be no justification for holding the hearing in private. A court official said: “The hearing is a private hearing not open to the public. The plaintiff has requested a private hearing and the Chief Justice has acceded to this request. The grounds on which he has made this decision are themselves confidential and cannot be disclosed at this time.” Mr Justice Kawaley has said in the past that “the basic legal premise is that the public have a right of access to any hearing unless there is a good reason to exclude them. The fact that it’s in chambers doesn’t limit that access”. The publicly funded commission was represented yesterday by Richard Horseman of law firm Wakefield Quin. The gaming commission has advertised for a replacement for Mr Schuetz as executive director. Neither the BCGC nor Mr Schuetz replied to a request for comment on the lawsuit by press time.

2018. March 6. Regulations for casino gambling are to be introduced “without further delay”, tourism minister Jamahl Simmons told the House of Assembly yesterday. Mr Simmons blamed past members of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission for delays leading to a “stumbling block” to finalizing regulations. Alan Dunch, the former commission chairman, told The Royal Gazette that the “real stumbling block in terms of moving matters forward was beyond the curtilage of the commission itself”. Mr Dunch said the commission had completed its work a year ago and that he was surprised it had taken the Government so long to proceed. Mr Simmons told Parliament: “Under new leadership, the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is working with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, via my ministry as the instructing government body, to ensure that these regulations are enacted without further delay.” He added: “In fact, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the commission have agreed that for expediency and without sacrificing due diligence in the drafting process, the prudent way forward would be to complete the drafting and enactment of the regulatory package, under the negative resolution procedure, in three phases.” Grant Gibbons, the shadow economic development minister, asked why it had taken so long to finalize the regulations. Mr Simmons replied: “Part of the delay was the unwillingness of members to work together to get a set of regulations that both the Gaming Commission and the Attorney-General’s Chambers could agree on. Once we began having a communication between those two bodies, things moved apace.” Mr Dunch resigned as gaming commission chairman last November after Mr Simmons tabled legislation to give himself the power to oust him. Mr Gibbons told MPs: “My understanding was that the regulations that the former government had done were pretty much finalized and were ready to go.” Mr Simmons said: “The regulations that were sent over to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, to the previous government, were not legally acceptable based on their ruling at that time. When we took office, the same position held under the new Attorney-General and their group. There had to be co-operation between the two bodies to move past that. At one point you had the Casino Gaming Commission saying, ‘the regulations are fine, they are perfect’. You had the Attorney-General’s Chambers saying, ‘hold on, these need to be adjusted’. And so that has been adjusted.” Mr Dunch said he found the suggestion that progress had stalled under his chairmanship “puzzling at best. With the exception of the phasing suggestion, there is nothing new in the detail provided by the minister and, indeed, one is left wondering why it has taken a further eight months to progress work that was in effect completed almost a year ago.” Mr Dunch said the commission submitted a draft memorandum with 19 sets of regulations to Cabinet on May 31 last year, that the commission wanted to have “approved and tabled before Parliament pursuant to the negative resolution procedure, as provided for by the Act. The regulations, produced with the help of international gaming experts, were “entirely in keeping with industry standards.  They were presented in a manner which should have enabled immediate tabling before Parliament so as to have a comprehensive regulatory process in place prior to the licence applications process being completed.” He explained that the commission was later asked to prepare a policy document for the Attorney-General’s Chambers that outlined policy considerations for each of the proposed sets of regulations. Mr Dunch said this was completed on June 29, by which time the General Election had been called and Parliament dissolved. He added: “Between the date of the election and the date of my relinquishment of the leadership of the commission, numerous efforts were made to move the regulatory process forward, all to no avail. The last that I heard was that the Attorney-General’s Chambers were reviewing the policy document and that the draft Cabinet memorandum would not be processed pending the review. On any basis, it would therefore seem that the real stumbling block in terms of moving matter forward was beyond the curtilage of the commission itself.” Mr Simmons said in a ministerial statement yesterday that the regulatory framework designed for Bermuda was “in line with industry standards and with industry expectations”. He added the first phase would include regulations that must be completed immediately “for the commission to commence the suitability stage of the licensing process”. The second phase will consist of regulations that must be in force before casino construction can start and the final phase would need to be enacted before construction was completed and the casino opened. Mr Simmons and the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission did not respond to requests from The Royal Gazette for more detailed information about which industry standards were being used as a model for the regulations, what the regulations would contain or when they were expected to be completed. The Royal Gazette also asked when Bermuda’s first casino was expected to open and whether a bank had agreed to back casinos on-island but got no response. Cheryl-Ann Mapp, the new chairwoman of the BCGC, said last month that the BCGC had asked counterparts abroad for advice on alternatives to the island’s three banks, none of which have yet agreed to become involved in the industry.

2018. February 21. Overseas options are being explored to potentially handle Bermuda’s casino transactions, the new head of the gaming commission has revealed. Cheryl-Ann Mapp told The Royal Gazette that the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is seeking advice from its counterparts abroad on alternatives to the island’s three local banks, none of which has yet agreed to any involvement in the fledgling industry. Commission chairwoman Ms Mapp said there was “very positive and encouraging dialogue” ongoing with the local banks and she was “confident” they would be able to work with the casinos. But Richard Schuetz, former executive director of the regulatory body, claimed it was highly unlikely that local banks would get permission to be involved from their correspondent banks in the United States. Mr Schuetz, who quit the commission in July last year, claimed negative global publicity surrounding recent amendments to the Casino Gaming Act would deter the correspondent banks — and their approval was necessary for local banks processing US dollar transactions. “Any correspondent bank would do due diligence on Bermuda and I doubt that the newspaper and magazine articles over the last year would help the cause,” he said. “One only needs to look at my resignation letter to understand that a US correspondent bank may have concerns about doing business in Bermuda.” Ms Mapp’s predecessor, Alan Dunch, who quit the commission in protest at legislative amendments, warned in November 2016 that there would not be a casino industry without buy-in from local banks. At that stage, Mr Dunch said the local banks had told the Government they “won’t bank the casinos” and correspondent banks for Butterfield and Clarien had indicated they would need to be satisfied the island had tough anti-money-laundering controls in place. The commission’s plan was to introduce a stringent regulatory framework for the casino industry to persuade the US banks to get on board. But the bulk of the necessary regulations have yet to be tabled in Parliament, despite being drafted by the commission and delivered to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for approval in May last year. Tourism minister Jamahl Simmons said in November that delivering a “full set of casino gaming regulations necessary to set the highest level of standards for the industry” was a priority, but has said little on the topic since. Last week’s Budget made no specific mention of casinos, other than a pledge to give Bermuda College additional funds to provide gaming industry training. David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, said: “The Ministry of Finance will soon commence consultations on expanding the types of banks that can operate in Bermuda.” The Royal Gazette asked the island’s local banks if they had decided whether to conduct financial transactions for any casinos that open here. A HSBC Bermuda spokeswoman said: “Following a thorough review some years ago, the HSBC Group took the decision to limit its involvement with the gambling sector. This represents further progress in the HSBC Group strategy since May 2011.” That decision was part of improvements HSBC made to its compliance systems after having to pay a $1.9 billion settlement in the United States in 2012 for helping Mexican drug cartels launder money and breaching international sanctions by doing business with Iran. A Clarien spokesman said: “Clarien continues to gain further understanding of the casino gaming legislation and regulation. Upon completion of this analysis, Clarien management will make a risk-based decision to progress further discussions with various stakeholders including our board and shareholders and, most importantly, our correspondent banks. “While we wish to support Bermuda, we also have to ensure that such business is in alignment with our regulatory obligations, our banking licence and our risk appetite.” Butterfield declined to comment. Ms Mapp said: “The commission continues to have very positive and encouraging dialogue with the local banks, regarding the banking of casino funds. [I am] confident that the local banks will be able to work with the casinos. However, the commission is seeking the advice of our overseas counterparts as to any other options which might be available to a casino operator.” Mr Schuetz and Mr Dunch met with Wells Fargo, a correspondent bank for Clarien, and Bank of New York Mellon, Butterfield’s correspondent bank, in 2015. “Both stated to me they would feel most comfortable with a US model of regulation,” said Mr Schuetz, adding that was because “the US had been addressing anti-money laundering since the passage of the Bank Secrecy Act in 1971, the US casino regulatory system had a strong culture of compliance and there was a great deal of institutional knowledge in the US about addressing anti-money-laundering issues in casinos”. He added that the amendments tabled in November, giving the tourism minister the power to sack gaming commissioners without cause and compelling them to follow his “general directions” on policy, were hardly in line with the US model. The amendments were described as a “recipe for disaster” by experts in the States. Mr Schuetz said: “While Minister Simmons seems to think he’s involved in best practices, I think the rest of the casino world and the banking system may disagree.” Neither the Ministry of Tourism and Economic Development nor the Attorney-General’s Chambers responded to requests for comment on the gaming regulations by press time. The gaming commission has granted one provisional casino licence so far, to the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club.

2018. February 2. A reason given by tourism minister Jamahl Simmons for why he had to take control of the island’s independent gaming commission has come in for renewed criticism in the wake of a public access to information disclosure. Mr Simmons told Parliament that the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission had failed to participate in a national risk analysis carried out by the National Anti-Money-Laundering Committee in the run-up to an assessment this year by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. He made the claim on November 10 last year, but information released in response to a Pati request has shown the commission had no statutory duty to complete assignments for the NAMLC or participate in its meetings until November 3. Richard Schuetz, the former executive director of the commission, questioned how the BCGC could be said to have failed in the space of a week. He said the Pati disclosure showed “the minister needed to justify his actions and he grabbed at this”. Mr Schuetz added: “The problem is, the facts just don’t meet the narrative and to use NAMLC in this way — that is, to politicize it — is contrary to the whole point of NAMLC.” Mr Simmons highlighted the commission’s alleged failures in relation to the NAMLC as a key reason why he needed to table an amendment to the Casino Gaming Act to give himself the power to sack commission members without cause. He added that he had been unable to oust Alan Dunch as chairman, despite three requests for him to resign. He criticized Mr Dunch in the House of Assembly on November 10 and suggested to MPs that the commission chairman was unable to accept the Progressive Labour Party’s landslide General Election win in July. The minister said: “That attitude may perhaps be further seen in the recent non-participation by the gaming commission in the National Anti-Money-Laundering Committee’s national risk analysis, failure to provide the requested presentation for the related workshops, and failure to provide the analysis and conclusions of the working group that this commission was chairing.” Mr Simmons discussed the NAMLC “situation” with Bernews.com on November 20. He said: “When you have a body of that magnitude that needs to be able to get responsiveness from parts of government and they were not getting that level of responsiveness, I was not in power to say ‘could you please provide this information’ and so that flagged something that could be a problem down the road and would need to be addressed.” The Royal Gazette asked the Ministry of Finance for records of which agencies attended NAMLC meetings, and which completed assignments for the advisory body and indicated an interest in the gaming commission’s participation. An information official said: “By law, BCGC did not become a member of NAMLC until November 3, 2017, when the Proceeds of Crime Act was amended to include them. Therefore, prior to that date, any attendance of the BCGC at NAMLC meetings was by invitation, not by requirement.” The official added: “Given the fact that BCGC was not a statutory member of NAMLC until last month [November], producing those records prior to that would not by themselves paint a true picture because if the records show them to have been absent at a meeting prior to November 3, this would suggest that they weren’t participating, rather than indicating that they might not have been invited to attend.” Mr Simmons said last night: “We stand by the reasons articulated for seeking change and are moving forward to execute the people’s business.” He added: “The successful completion of the national risk assessment tracking document under the new leadership at the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission demonstrates their commitment to working with the Government to meet our international obligations and protect our economy. Despite this, much work remains in this area. I am confident, however, that under the current leadership the excellent staff at the BCGC will deliver.” Cheryl-Ann Mapp, appointed by Mr Simmons to replace Mr Dunch as commission chairman after he resigned, said: “Under the previous administration, the commission did not complete the national risk assessment tracking document to meet the NAMLC deadline. Under the new leadership, this work is now complete.” Ms Mapp would not reveal the date on which the tracking document was submitted to the NAMLC or comment on whether the commission’s relationship with the committee was voluntary before November 3. Commission lawyer Deborah Blakeney said: “The commission has no further comment.” Mr Schuetz believes Mr Simmons owed commission staff an apology. He said: “I am upset by the suggestions that we were not actively engaged in the NAMLC process. Myself, Julie Grant, Deborah Blakeney, [commissioner] Derek Ramm and other members of the commission started attending meetings long before they were required and this involved a great many meetings. I had numerous conversations with NAMLC representatives and asked for them to clearly communicate with me if we were ever not holding up our end of things. None ever communicated that there was a problem with the commission.” Mr Schuetz said it was true the commission was late completing the voluntary tracking document from the NAMLC in October 2017. But he added the reasons for the delay — the medical absence of a key executive and a heavy workload related to the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club’s application for a provisional casino licence — were explained to the committee. “If there were issues with the commission’s performance with NAMLC, they were my problems and not that of Alan Dunch,” Mr Schuetz said. "Moreover, for the minister to make this claim is a serious slight to the many hours the commission staff put into this effort. He should apologize.” Mr Schuetz added: “Since July 18, 2017, the Government or the minister never said one word about our anti-money-laundering efforts or our participation in NAMLC. Then, when the minister cannot get away with illegally firing Alan, he suggests that he needs to change the law — becoming a gambling tsar — and in his speech he discusses that the commission has not completed some tasks for NAMLC. This is a totally inappropriate use of NAMLC.” The former executive director, who quit his post last July, said the commission’s involvement in the national risk analysis was not critical as the CFATF assessment will cover a period when the money-laundering risk in Bermuda’s casino industry was zero because it had yet to be launched. Mr Dunch said he never received any communication from the NAMLC or the tourism ministry about a BCGC failure in its duties in relation to the NAMLC or the national risk analysis. He said he did not want to comment on anything else about the commission. Ms Mapp said: “The gaming commission acknowledges the concerns expressed by the Government in relation to participation on these committees. The commission is working diligently to ensure that our legislative framework will also meet the timeline set by NAMLC. We are moving forward in collaboration with NAMLC and other participants. As the new commission chairman, I have met with all of our stakeholders, including the chairman of NAMLC, and have advised her of our commitment to the preparations for the upcoming CFATF assessment. We have agreed to work towards meeting all of the required deadlines.”

2017. December 14. A controversial law change to give the Government more control over the gambling watchdog was backed by the Senate yesterday. The amendments were designed to empower the responsible minister to give policy direction to the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission after consultation and to fire commissioners. Progressive Labour Party senator Crystal Caesar, who claimed there had been a “media disinformation campaign” about the amendments, added that the minister will also be able to “revoke the appointment of a member who is unable or unwilling to perform his duties as a member or in such other circumstances where the member’s conduct may amount to misconduct or breach of best regulatory practice, or is likely to bring the commission or the Government into disrepute”. One Bermuda Alliance senator Justin Mathias said his party could not support the amendment and that it was an attack on the commission’s independence. Mr Mathias said: “I don’t see how a gaming commission can have that independence when this is held over the commission’s head.” Independent senator James Jardine said the commission should listen to the Government, but that there must be a way to resolve disputes when the commission has reason to disagree with directions from the minister. He suggested that disputes could be handled by independent arbitration. Mr Jardine said the changes were “too invasive” and he could not support them. Jason Hayward of the PLP said that the amendments were in line with Singapore legislation used as the basis for the rest of the Act. He added the new gaming commission had no objection to the amendments. Mr Hayward also questioned “why is it when the PLP attempts to do something it’s marred with this level of controversy”. He added that the PLP was accountable to the public and that the direction of gambling must be in line with the will of the people. Michelle Simmons, an independent senator, said that the commission was “essentially a quango” with a minister responsible for its actions. She added: “The BCGC must have a degree of independence to get on with what it’s responsible for, but there’s also a need for the commission to be able to work with the minister that is responsible for the establishment of said commission.” Ms Simmons said she backed the amendments and that it was a matter of best practice to have a legislated method to remove a commissioner. She added: “When you make an appointment, you also need to have the means for removing or adjusting those appointments.” But the OBA’s Andrew Simons also branded the legislation as an attack on the commission’s independence. PLP senator Kathy Simmons, the Attorney-General, questioned claims that the amendments would damage the island’s international reputation. She claimed public comments by the outgoing Gaming Commissioner Alan Dunch were more damaging. She said much of the debate had become a battle of personalities. Ms Simmons said: “Let’s stick to the details of the Bill. Let’s stick to best practice.”

2017. December 9. New legislation to let the tourism minister fire members of the Casino Gaming Commission and issue policy direction to the regulatory body was passed by MPs on Friday night. The Casino Gaming Amendment Act 2017 came under strong criticism in recent weeks. Opponents of the change said it eroded the independence of the commission. Jamahl Simmons, who tabled the amendment Act, insisted that the approach in the new Bill was “not unusual, not unique and not unheard of”. Mr Simmons said the Government had taken note of concerns about the Act and made the two changes to the original Amendment Act after consultation with the new gaming commissioner, Cheryl-Ann Mapp. The first amendment said that the minister can “from time to time after consultation with the Commission give to the Commission in writing such general directions as appear to the minister to be necessary in the public interest and the commission shall act in accordance with such directions”. The second amendment added: “The minister may at any time revoke the appointment of a member who is unable or unwilling to perform his duties as a member or in such other circumstances where the member’s conduct may amount to misconduct or breach of best regulatory practice, or is likely to bring the commission or the Government into disrepute.” Mr Simmons told the House that the new provision for directions to be in writing ensured they would be clear, while the second amendment provided greater “specificity in terms of reasoning”. But Opposition MPs said the new amendments only watered down the overall impact of the legislation and did little to address their main concern of government interference with an independent body. Mr Simmons began the debate with a condemnation of a “calculated, malicious and divisive media campaign” designed to portray the PLP as “inherently corrupt, incompetent and dictatorial”. He said: “This government rejects those stereotypes. The Government has been given a mandate and it is right that mutual trust and respect exists for Government to execute that mandate.” Leah Scott, the deputy leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, told MPs it was vital that the Commission was seen to be independent and asked Government to reconsider the legislation. She added: “I don’t think that internationally it gives a good perception that the minister can interfere in this way.” OBA MP Grant Gibbons also told Mr Simmons that he should “let this legislation die on the order paper”. Mr Gibbons said the Act was “ill advised and wrong”. He added: “This will do a great deal of harm to our gaming industry and damage to our reputation.” But PLP MPs Kim Swan, Michael Scott and Zane DeSilva jumped to the defence of the Act. Mr Scott said the legislation was “reasonable, moderate and responsive”. Former premier Michael Dunkley joined the OBA chorus of opposition. He said the law change was “draconian” and insisted that the Commission should be “as apolitical as possible”. Mr Dunkley predicted: “It’s a wrong move, it’s a bad move, it will backfire.” But David Burt, the Premier, hit back at Opposition MPs. He said the new legislation was “very simple”. Mr Burt added: “We will continue to prove we are up for the job and we are going to make sure we do it right.” Mr Simmons pointed out that the Casino Gaming Commission’s initial membership had been “political appointees”. He also confirmed that three commissioners had resigned. They are chairman Alan Dunch, his deputy Garry Madeiros and Derek Ramm, with Dennis Tucker and Judith Hall-Bean remaining in position. Mr Simmons said: “These changes in the legislation will not allow me, the future minister or the next government to interfere with corruption investigations. They will not allow me to decide who gets casino licences.” The legislation passed with a vote on party lines after a two-hour debate, with the Government side winning 17 to 12. Six PLP members were absent from the chamber at the time of the vote: education minister Diallo Rabain, junior finance minister Wayne Furbert, whip Michael Weeks and backbenchers Derrick Burgess, Renée Ming and Michael Scott. Only Mr Weeks had declared himself absent at the start of the day.

2017. December 7. Civil liberties organisation the Centre for Justice has urged Jamahl Simmons, the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, to delay putting an amendment before the House of Assembly tomorrow that would allow him to fire leading members of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission without cause. Despite the resignation of Alan Dunch as chairman of the commission, and the subsequent departure yesterday of Garry Madeiros, his deputy, Mr Simmons plans to proceed with a Bill that could lead to the independent body coming under ministerial control. It is a move that has been widely criticized by gaming industry experts in advance of Bermuda’s first steps into casino gaming. “Following the tabling of the Casino Gaming Amendment Bill 2017 (the “Bill”) on Friday 10 November 2017, we wrote to Minister Simmons urging him to postpone the debate of the Bill until such time as there has been full consultation with key stakeholders,” the Centre for Justice said in a statement released late last night. Centre for Justice does not involve itself in areas that fall outside CfJ’s remit. Gaming, in and of itself, is one such area that does not concern CfJ. However, in this instance, the Bill seeks to make changes to existing legislation that appear to deal with matters of good governance.” The statement added: “The legitimacy of legislation, in a free and democratic society, is derived from the full participation of the public through consultation.CfJ’s strong recommendation is that the debate of the Bill be postponed with a view to engaging key stakeholders and the general public in consultation.”

2017. December 6. The deputy chairman of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is expected to resign today. Sources told The Royal Gazette that Garry Madeiros was set to step down at the end of a meeting at the regulatory body’s office this afternoon. The meeting is the last to be chaired by Alan Dunch, who quit last month after tourism minister Jamahl Simmons tabled an amendment to the law to give himself the power to sack commissioners without cause. All five commissioners opposed the Bill, which is due to be debated by MPs on Friday. The amendment, if approved, would force the commission to follow “general directions” on policy given by the minister and allow him to remove commissioners in circumstances he “considers appropriate”. Mr Dunch issued a statement on behalf of the commission last month that warned that the amendment would give the minister the “power to interfere in all of the commission’s dealings and ongoing work”. The statement said: “It means the minister is asking Parliament to give him an absolute, unchallengeable right to tell the commission what to do and the commission, despite its own convictions and expertise, will be unable to refuse. It means Bermuda’s gaming industry may essentially become an arm of the Government. Who we issue gaming licences to and who we approve as operators, may no longer be based on our internal, and internationally recognized suitability standards, but those of the minister’s.” Mr Simmons told reporters at a press conference that the Government would push ahead with the gaming amendment, despite the concerns of the commission and overseas industry experts. He said that the change would not allow him to influence licence decisions. Mr Dunch’s successor as chairman will be magistrate Cheryl Ann Mapp. The remaining commissioners are Judith Hall-Bean and Dennis Tucker, both Bermudians, and Derek Ramm, the director of anti-money laundering for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Richard Schuetz, the gaming commission’s executive director, resigned on July 18 and is serving out his notice period until the end of the year. A replacement for him has yet to be found. Mr Madeiros and Mr Dunch declined to comment yesterday.

2017. November 24. The deputy Opposition leader yesterday said proposed changes to gaming legislation would “pierce the heart” of Bermuda’s future as a gambling centre. Leah Scott added that the amendments, expected to be debated in the House of Assembly next month, could damage the independence of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission. The amendments would give Jamahl Simmons, the Minister of Tourism, the power to fire fixed-term commissioners without cause and force the independent commission to follow government policy directions. But the plan has come under fire by gaming experts and led to the resignation of the former chairman, Alan Dunch. Ms Scott said: “In an attempt to justify his reasoning to amend the Casino Gaming Amendment, the minister states that the legislation ‘brings Bermuda in alignment with other jurisdictions in terms of allowing the Government to provide policy direction and allow the minister to remove members of the commission who do not follow legal directions of the Government’.” Ms Scott asked: “Was the legal direction of the minister one that would encourage Bermuda to proceed in a relationship that has the potential to cause damage to Bermuda’s reputation — particularly at a time when we are already under intense global scrutiny? Is that the legal direction that Mr Dunch, in his capacity as chairman of the Gaming Commission, did not follow, and subsequently led to his resignation and the appointment of Cheryl Mapp in his stead? Is it the minister’s assumption that Mrs Mapp will simply follow his legal directions without question?” Ms Scott also questioned whether a law change would damage a casino’s ability to get banking services in Bermuda. She said: “This is a critical consideration. If a casino can’t get banking services, then casino gaming is a non-starter. First of all, the local banks here have to assess whether they even have an appetite to take on gaming proceeds with the risk that entails in relation to possible corruption and money laundering. If the answer to that question is yes, then the next question is how will those funds be cleared?” She added the independence of the gaming commission could be a “deal-breaker” for banks, and that co-respondent banks would not accept money from a Bermuda bank without the security of a strong legal framework. Ms Scott said that any comparison between the BCGC and financial watchdog the Bermuda Monetary Authority was invalid. She added: “The defined and restricted powers of the Minister of Finance in relation to firing directors of the BMA pursuant to its governing legislation, is completely different to the Minister’s proposed broad, unrestricted powers in relation to firing the chairman and commissioners under the provisions of the Casino Gaming Act. Simply put, the commission is not independent of governmental interference when the minister can fire any commissioner without cause at any time. The bottom line is that the minister has taken a knife and directly pierced the heart and future of gaming in Bermuda.”

2017. November 22. The Government will not withdraw its controversial plan to bring the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission under ministerial control, tourism minister Jamahl Simmons said yesterday. Mr Simmons, moments after Cheryl-Ann Mapp was announced as the new commission chairwoman, insisted he would press ahead with an amendment to the law to give him the power to issue policy directions to the regulatory body and fire without cause commissioners appointed for a fixed term. He warned that a similar amendment could be made to the Bermuda Tourism Authority Act if the independent but publicly funded body ceased to have a “mutually respectful relationship” with the Government. Mr Simmons said: “It must be understood, the tail will not wag the dog in this government. We are providing funding for these entities and while we will respect their independence, which should be based on their expertise in their respective fields, there has to be a measure of policy direction when and if necessary.” He was speaking after David Burt, the Premier, announced lawyer Ms Mapp as the replacement for Alan Dunch, the outgoing chairman of the commission. The Casino Gaming Amendment Act 2017, which could be approved this week by MPs, has been criticized by the island’s gaming commissioners and overseas experts, one of whom claimed last week it was a “recipe for disaster” because it would remove the commission’s independence. But Mr Burt, flanked by his Cabinet, said: “My Cabinet colleagues are here to be a part of this important press conference because they fully support and endorse the new chair and this government’s approach to casino gaming in Bermuda. The Progressive Labour Party government wants to ensure that we have a partner in the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission who is able to work with us, executing our vision for casino gaming — gaming that works for the benefit of the many. It is important that commissions and organisations which are created by Acts of Parliament and are by funded by the taxpayer work co-operatively with policymakers, which in this case are the persons behind me who were chosen by the people of Bermuda on July 18. Mr Burt added: “This government will not be in control of the day-to-day operations of the casino gaming commission. To say the Government is taking away the independence of the commission is not true. It is necessary for the Government to have a working relationship with the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission.” Mr Simmons said he would give only “legal policy directions” to the commission and there would be “protections” to ensure no political interference, as with the Bermuda Monetary Authority. He added: “When it comes to investigations, when it comes to the general actions of the commission, that’s off limits, completely off limits.” Mr Simmons added that he would also play no part in decisions on casino licence applications. He said Ms Mapp, a magistrate and chairman of the Permanent Arbitration Tribunal, was chosen for her “strength of character and her integrity”. Mr Simmons added: “I can assure you she will stand firm against any form of interference.” Ms Mapp said: “I believe in the independence of the commission and that gaming must be free of political interference, and that it is imperative for us to collectively and diligently work to ensure that we get gaming right.” Bermuda’s gaming commissioners are appointed for a fixed term and under existing law can be removed only if they are incapable of managing their affairs, or for bankruptcy reasons, or if they are convicted of a dishonesty offence. Mr Simmons made three unsuccessful attempts to get rid of Mr Dunch, before he tabled the amendment. Mr Dunch resigned last week and asked the Government to consider the withdrawal of its “ill-advised” Bill. The PLP attacked the last One Bermuda Alliance administration after it failed to hold a promised referendum on gaming. But Mr Simmons ruled out a referendum under the new administration. He said: “Unfortunately, we have seen that train leave the station.”

2017. November 17. A plan to bring the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission under ministerial control has been described as “flying in the face” of best practice and a “recipe for disaster” by overseas experts. Industry insiders in the United States, including one who helped to draft Bermuda’s casino gaming legislation, said the fledgling industry needed a regulatory body that could make decisions without political interference and with a high degree of integrity. They insisted the Casino Gaming Amendment Act 2017, tabled by tourism minister Jamahl Simmons last Friday in the House of Assembly, would jeopardize that and could have a “chilling effect” on the island’s progress towards entering the casino industry. The Bill would compel the commission to follow the directions of the minister and give him power to fire commissioners without cause. Fredric Gushin, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, which worked for the Bermuda Government to help draft the island’s Casino Gaming Act 2014 and has also worked for the Singapore Government, said gaming commissions had to be accountable but the minister’s amendment was not the way to ensure that. Mr Gushin added: “Gaming commissions around the world are created to be independent, as much as possible, from the political process because experience has generally been that politics and gaming don’t mix very well. It usually results in an implosion or an explosion.” He said one way to ensure independence was to have staggered fixed-term appointments for commissioners, so a change in government would not result in their removal. Another was to ban those working for the regulatory body from entering the gaming industry for several years after leaving their posts. Mr Gushin said: “It’s all done to preserve the integrity of the decision-making process. In Bermuda, issuing a casino licence, like anywhere, is a big deal. You want it to be done fairly and with a high degree of integrity. You want the public to understand that this was not a political hack or corrupt result.” Mr Gushin, whose company has worked in 33 American states and 45 countries, said Mr Simmons’s amendment “kind of flies in the face of not compromising the integrity of the gaming commission”. He added that Singapore was a very different jurisdiction to Bermuda. Mr Gushin said that when he worked on drafting the law for Bermuda, alongside tourism minister Shawn Crockwell and the Attorney-General Mark Pettingill, there was a consensus that the legislation ought not to copy Singapore entirely and that the commission should be as apolitical as possible. Mr Gushin, who worked as an assistant director of gaming enforcement in New Jersey for many years before setting up Spectrum, added: “I didn’t hear any objection to that.” And he warned that the proposed change could put off investors and “certainly have a chilling effect” on efforts to get the industry up and running. Gaming consultant Gene Johnson, of Victor Strategies, said: “It looks, quite frankly, like an attempt to exert political control over what should be an independent organisation. It is obviously an attempt by a minister to bring the gaming commission under his direct control. “That’s problematic because one of the fundamental reasons for having a gaming commission is to ensure the integrity of the industry.” Mr Johnson said the commission’s job was to carefully vet vendors, with political influence playing no part in who was granted a licence. He added: “This is a recipe for disaster.” He warned it could open the door to corruption and added: “Even the perception of corruption will have a negative impact on the industry.” Jennifer Roberts, from the International Centre for Gaming Regulation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told The Royal Gazette: “Bermuda is in a great position to offer regulated casino entertainment along with the other tourist amenities provided within a luxurious resort destination. The UNLV-ICGR does not take any position regarding disputes that may occur between legislators and regulators that could impact gaming. The ICGR certainly supports the implementation of a durable gaming regulatory system that promotes fair and honest gaming. As such, gaming regulatory systems should remain non-political and independent, and it is common for legal safeguards to be incorporated within those systems, such as prohibitions on current political party representatives serving as gaming regulators, cooling-off periods for transitioning from regulation to industry and due-process protections for removal from a gaming board or commission position.” Mr Simmons did not respond to a question yesterday on whether he would withdraw the amendment as proposed by gaming commission chairman Alan Dunch in his resignation letter. The minister said he had received and accepted Mr Dunch’s resignation, and would announce his successor early next week. The Bill could be debated in the House as soon as next Friday, before going to the Senate.

2017. November 16. Under-fire gaming chief Alan Dunch has quit his post, days after the Government tabled legislation to oust him and place the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission under ministerial control. Mr Dunch told tourism minister Jamahl Simmons in a letter sent last night that the proposed change to the law “completely undermines the fundamental premise upon which I agreed to serve as chairman of the Casino Gaming Commission, namely that the commission would be a wholly autonomous, independent regulatory body which would operate free from political interference and government dictate”. Mr Simmons confirmed he had received and accepted the resignation of Mr Dunch, adding: “I thank him for his service and will announce his successor early next week.” The outgoing chairman, a director at MJM law firm, urged Mr Simmons to withdraw the legislative amendment, which, he claimed, could “impede Bermuda’s ability to attract first-class people of the utmost integrity to both operate and regulate the gaming industry here”. Mr Dunch, who will leave his post officially on December 6, told The Royal Gazette: “I acknowledge the reality that if these amendments are passed, then he will simply fire me. Given the impetus for these amendments is the desire to have me go, now that I’m going to go after the next commission meeting, I hope he rethinks whether there is any need to make the amendments. I truly believe the amendment that compels the commission to follow [the minister’s] direction on any given subject is going to be very counterproductive in terms of putting Bermuda on the international gaming stage as a credible jurisdiction.” The Bill tabled in the House of Assembly last Friday has prompted criticism from the island’s gaming commissioners and overseas experts, including an opinion piece in an international gaming publication that claimed bringing the regulatory body under government control would be the “definition of corruption”. If approved, the Casino Gaming Amendment Act 2017, would change the law to compel the commission to follow the tourism minister’s “general directions” on policy and allow him to remove commissioners without cause, in any circumstances he “considers appropriate”. Commissioners can be removed at present only if they are incapable of managing their affairs, or for bankruptcy reasons, or if they are convicted of a dishonesty offence. Mr Dunch, who was appointed as gaming commission chairman in May 2015 for a four-year term, has been in Mr Simmons’s crosshairs since August, when the latter made the first of three attempts to fire him. On August 10, Mr Simmons e-mailed Mr Dunch to “formally” invite him to consider resigning — a move Mr Dunch said “surprised and disappointed” him because the new minister had just a few weeks before declared his “unequivocal confidence, support and enthusiasm” for the chairman and his team. Mr Simmons tried to sack Mr Dunch again on September 27 and then on October 20, the same day Mr Dunch publicly questioned a claim by local firm MM&I Holdings that it would give away 95 per cent of its profits to good causes if it landed a lucrative government gaming deal. As revealed in a special report by The Royal Gazette, MM&I and its Florida-based partner firm Banyan Gaming had been trying to secure the deal since 2013, even signing an memorandum of understanding with the One Bermuda Alliance government, which was later terminated. MM&I is represented by lawyer Mark Pettingill, who pushed for the MOU when he was Attorney-General in the OBA Cabinet, as did the late Shawn Crockwell, then the tourism minister. Banyan representatives appeared as “experts” at a Progressive Labour Party forum in May promoting their “cashless gaming” product. Mr Dunch has repeatedly resisted the minister’s attempts to sack him, insisting there was no statutory basis to remove him. But in his resignation letter, he wrote: “It is my sincere hope that in making this decision to resign, you and the Government might now consider it unnecessary to move forward with the proposed amendments and, in the best interests of Bermuda, choose instead to withdraw the Amendment Act which ... is ill-advised and could do irreversible harm to the reputation of our country.” Mr Simmons said on Tuesday the legislative change would bring Bermuda “in alignment with other jurisdictions in terms of allowing ... the minister to remove members of the commission who do not follow legal directions of the Government”. He said it mirrored gaming legislation in Singapore but did not name any other gaming jurisdiction with similar provisions, even after questions from The Royal Gazette. Mr Dunch, who was appointed by Mr Crockwell, said yesterday: “It’s true that similar provisions exist in Singapore but Singapore is governed by a very different governance system to the Western world. I know from my discussions with the late Shawn Crockwell that when the original Act was introduced, there was a deliberate decision not to include those types of provisions, as he wanted to establish a commission that was clearly free of political influence and interference.” Most leading gaming jurisdictions in the United States — including California, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — allow gaming commissioners to be removed only with cause, or after a vote in the relevant legislative chamber. Legislation in Britain allows the Secretary of State to dismiss a commissioner if the secretary thinks the commissioner is unable, unfit or unwilling to perform their functions. Mr Dunch said he never indicated to Mr Simmons that he would not resign; it was merely a question of timing. He wanted to remain chairman until:

  • The Hamilton Princess provisional casino licence hearing was held
  • Regulations were approved by MPs to ensure a proper regulatory framework was in place and banks were on board to “bank” the island’s casinos
  • A replacement was found for the commission’s outgoing executive director, Richard Schuetz, who leaves the island next month

Only the first of those goals was achieved, Mr Dunch admitted, adding: “It’s obviously disappointing to me that I’m not going to have the opportunity to finish what I started, but that’s life.”

2017. November 15. Alan Dunch has branded new legislation giving politicians power over casinos as a “potentially sad and seriously backward” move against efforts to keep corruption out of gaming. The chairman of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission warned that it would allow Jamahl Simmons, the tourism minister, to hand out lucrative gaming contracts which should be the remit of the gaming commission. Mr Simmons, who has tried to oust Mr Dunch three times since the Progressive Labour Party was elected, tabled amendments on Friday giving himself the ability to fire Mr Dunch. That came after Mr Dunch repeatedly questioned the intentions of MM&I Holdings, the local firm bidding for a cashless gaming contract worth tens of millions of dollars per year. Mr Simmons has repeatedly refused to say whether the Government is in talks with MM&I, but he said on Friday it was not “currently considering any proposals” from MM&I and/or its American partner firm Banyan Gaming. Mr Dunch, whose contract expires in May 2019, said in a statement: “The tabling of the Casino Gaming Amendment Act last Friday was a potentially sad and seriously backward misstep in the ongoing efforts of Bermuda to introduce a moral and apolitical gaming regime, free from the potential of corruption. At face value, it would appear to be a knee-jerk reaction arising out of the minister’s great frustration with the refusal of the chairman of the commission to resign, in the absence of reason. However, it is far more alarming that his proposed amendments would compel the commission to give up its independence and follow any general directions given to it by the minister. This in and of itself should be of great concern to the Bermuda public. It will mean the minister has the power to interfere in all of the commission’s dealings and ongoing work. It means the minister is asking Parliament to give him an absolute, unchallengeable right to tell the commission what to do and the commission, despite its own convictions and expertise, will be unable to refuse.” Mr Dunch said this would make Bermuda’s gaming industry an arm of the Government. Who we issue gaming licences to and who we approve as operators, may no longer be based on our internal, and internationally recognized, suitability standards, but those of the minister’s. This will not resonate well within the international gaming community and may seriously impede Bermuda’s ability to attract first-class people of the utmost integrity to operate and regulate the casino industry going forward.” He said the gaming commission strives to operate and function in an autonomous environment. Mr Dunch said: “The commissioners and the commission’s staff have no other goal or agenda other than this. It is not political and it is not personal. We are motivated only to do what is in the best interests of Bermuda — and aim to do so without fear of intimidation, victimization or political interference.” Mr Simmons accused the commission on Friday of pursuing a “systemic misinformation campaign” to damage Bermuda’s reputation as well as the gaming industry, refusing to “engage in a collaborative and mutually respectful relationship” with the Government and refusing to acknowledge and accept change. Mr Dunch responded: “Nothing could be farther from the truth. There have been very few interactions, either by e-mail or in person, between the minister and the commission since July 2017. The commission has made every effort to engage with the minister and work with him to move the gaming initiative forward. However, it is the minister himself who has engaged in a course of non-communication and complete silence on multiple occasions. The minister has systematically refused to meet with the commission, engage with the commission in writing or by telephone, assist the commission with the enactment of a regulatory package that was presented for tabling in Parliament last May or generally in any way assist the commission in its ongoing efforts to get Bermuda’s first casino up and running in circumstances where a provisional casino licence has in fact been issued. It is regrettable that the minister seeks to attack the chairman, if not directly then certainly by inference, in his personal capacity. His attempts to impugn the chairman’s character and integrity by suggesting that unfounded and ulterior motives lie behind his conduct as chairman are misconceived and without substance. Indeed, given his refusal to engage in any way with the commission, it is difficult to understand upon what basis he would make such accusations.” Mr Simmons also suggested Mr Dunch had e-mailed him to say he was ready for a “public fight” over the issue. Mr Dunch described this as an “out-of-context reference”, saying that he had been responding to Mr Simmons’s own defamatory accusations against him. He said: “It was made clear to the minister that the chairman does not take kindly to having his character, integrity and reputation called into question and that if he continued to do so in public, then such defensive steps as were necessary would be taken.” He added: “In terms of the best interests of Bermuda, it would be ill-advised and most unfortunate if the proposed amendments were to be passed by Parliament, approved by the Senate and assented to by the Governor. The commission does not support them and can only hope that the Government will rethink its position.”

2017. November 11. Tourism minister Jamahl Simmons tabled legislation yesterday to give himself the power to sack Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission chairman Alan Dunch. The move came after Mr Dunch questioned the intentions of MM&I Holdings, the firm involved in a controversial bid for a gaming contract worth tens of millions of dollars per year. Mr Simmons’s amendment to the Casino Gaming Amendment Act read: “The minister may at any time revoke the appointment of a member who is unable or unwilling to perform his duties as a member, or in such other circumstances as the minister considers appropriate.” The legislation also gives politicians greater power over the governing of casinos. Mr Simmons, who has repeatedly refused to say whether the Progressive Labour Party government is in talks with MM&I, has made three attempts to oust Mr Dunch since taking over as tourism minister. Mr Dunch, whose contract expires in May 2019, has insisted he will not resign and has said there is no statutory basis upon which he can be removed. In a statement released last night, the minister said the Act would bring Bermuda into line with jurisdictions such as Singapore on gambling governance. Mr Simmons added: “The amendment will allow the Government to give policy direction to the Casino Gaming Commission and will allow the minister to remove members of the commission who do not follow legal directions issued by the Government.” Mr Simmons said the amendment would not interfere with the independence of the commission in its investigations, or the enforcement of Bermuda’s casino gaming laws. The legislation, if approved by MPs, would give politicians greater power over the governing of casinos. The gaming commission, which was set up two years ago as an independent body to oversee gaming regulations, would be forced to operate under the orders of the tourism minister. The Bill said: “The minister may, after consultation with the commission, give general directions to the commission as to the policy to be followed in the achievement of the objects of the commission under this section. The commission shall give effect to any general directions given by the minister.” Mr Simmons yesterday used the House of Assembly to launch an attack on Mr Dunch’s performance as chairman and accused of him of having a political agenda. In a special report last month, The Royal Gazette reported how MM&I tried to net a lucrative contract to provide a cashless gaming network management system for any casinos that open on the island. The gaming commission warned the deal could damage Bermuda’s financial reputation, and highlighted that individuals from its partner firm, Banyan Gaming, had surrendered their gaming licences in major gambling jurisdictions in the United States. MM&I reached an agreement with the One Bermuda Alliance government while Mark Pettingill, who represents MM&I, and Mr Pettingill’s business partner, the late Shawn Crockwell, were both in the OBA Cabinet. The memorandum of understanding was terminated by the OBA in July 2016 under advice from the gaming commission. PLP MP Zane DeSilva this year helped organize a public gaming forum in which Banyan representatives were introduced as experts. Mr Simmons has refused to explain why he tried to fire Mr Dunch immediately after the chairman ridiculed MM&I’s claim that it planned to give away the vast majority of its casino profits to good causes. Mr Dunch has previously expressed surprise that Mr Simmons requested his resignation “out of the blue” a few weeks after declaring his “unequivocal confidence, support and enthusiasm” for the chairman and his team. In a Ministerial statement, Mr Simmons told MPs: “The Progressive Labour Party government has not conceived, considered or given any assurances, public or private, either that system or that operator will have a presence in our casino gaming industry. To be clear, the Government is not currently considering making cashless gaming on the island mandatory for casino operators. The Government is not currently considering any proposals related to the gaming industry from MM&I and/or Banyan Gaming. The Government has not entered into any arrangements with Banyan Gaming or MM&I. That was the previous government.” Mr Simmons said in an apparent reference to Mr Dunch: “It is apparent that there are individuals who have not accepted the results of the recent General Election, do not respect the mandate for change that the people of Bermuda delivered and would rather orchestrate systemic misinformation campaigns, jeopardize the reputation of Bermuda and undermine the Government than engage in a collaborative and mutually respectful relationship for the benefit of Bermuda. An example of this attitude may be seen in an e-mail sent to me by the current chairman of the Gaming Commission Mr Alan Dunch on October 20, in which he wrote and I quote, ‘If you want a public fight, I am more than up for it’. Those words now seem oddly prophetic as shortly afterward a select series of e-mail exchanges between my ministry and the gaming commission were ‘obtained’ by The Royal Gazette and an attempt to damage this government and Bermuda commenced in earnest. That attitude may perhaps be further seen in the recent non-participation in the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee’s National Risk Analysis, failure to provide the requested presentation for the related workshops and failure to provide the analysis and conclusions of the working group that the commission was chairing. The chairman of the Gaming Commission may want, crave, seek or desire a public fight. This government was not elected to engage in petty public fights. This government was not elected to get dragged into the drama and theatrics of those who by their words and deeds have demonstrated a complete and utter disregard for the well-being of our island and our people. This government was elected to create economic growth, help local and international business to thrive and create a wider range of jobs and opportunities for Bermudians with partners that share this vision and are willing to seek positive action over public fights and job creation over petty squabbling. While others want public fights, we seek a Bermuda that with greater economic growth and a diversified economy will bring new jobs and new industries to Bermuda. Although there are individuals within the Bermuda Gaming Commission seemingly prepared to drag Bermuda and its reputation through the mud to get their own way, this government was elected to make change, we have a mandate to make change and we will make the change that the people who elected us sent us here to deliver. The Casino Gaming Amendment Bill that I will table today will execute that mandate.” The Royal Gazette approached Mr Simmons yesterday to ask whether the PLP government has been in talks with MM&I or Banyan or any other company about a casino gaming system for Bermuda, and why the PLP promoted representatives connected to MM&I/Banyan as experts in gaming at its public forum earlier this year. Mr Simmons responded that he does not talk to The Royal Gazette. When contacted, Mr Dunch said that he was still considering his comment.

2017. August 18. A Bermuda lottery would be a tax on the poor, the executive director of the Casino Gaming Commission warned yesterday. Richard Schuetz said a lottery would not benefit the community. He added: “Lotteries have historically been called a tax on the poor. They are known as a regressive tax. Jurisdictions use them to raise money, and they raise it on the backs of the poor. I don’t get that as a public policy goal.” Mr Schuetz was speaking after Zane DeSilva said the new Government planned to create a lottery to support sports funding and education. But Mr Schuetz said: “What I heard during the election is there is a problem with people being poor, so lets not exploit the poor to deal with this debt.” Mr DeSilva told ZBM News earlier this week that he backed the introduction of a lottery and explained that, if implemented correctly, lotteries and casinos could generate government revenue to fund sport across the island. He told the station: “I think that if we use gaming correctly, if we set it up correctly, whether it’s gaming, a lotto or what have you, I believe if we set it up correctly we can use the surplus of funds that are expected to put into our community, whether its education or sports.” The Progressive Labour Party’s election platform called for the introduction of a local lottery to benefit sports development and national sporting bodies within two years. Mr DeSilva said: “That is going to be very much on our agenda. I think that between gaming and lottery, if it’s done correctly, I think we can generate quite a bit of extra revenue for the government.” A 2010 Government-commissioned study by the Innovation Group estimated that a lottery could generate more than $17 million a year in revenue. It said that the introduction of lotteries are often “politically motivated”, aimed at raising funds for programmes to improve the quality of life of citizens. But Mr Schuetz raised several concerns about legalized lotteries. He said: “In tax language a lottery is known as a regressive tax, meaning that it takes a larger percentage from lower income people. Furthermore, empirical studies have demonstrated that lottery sales increase during the times of the week or month when transfer payments are made. A classic example of a transfer payment is welfare.” Mr Schuetz added that lotteries serve as competition for casinos while creating comparatively few jobs and that the introduction of a lottery could translate to fewer casino jobs. Asked why lotteries would be viewed as regressive tax and casinos not, he said the cost of entry was a key point. Mr Schuetz added: “You can get into the lottery for a fairly low price generally. Even when they raise the price of entry, you get these syndicates in the neighborhood to buy tickets, so raising the price doesn’t work. People don’t go into a casino and bet a dollar.” He also said the casino model being adopted on the island was intended to increase investment and employment and boost tourism. “A lottery is not going to do that. This is a small island. It’s not like you are going to get those jumbo jackpots.” He explained that lotteries need liquidity to survive and that Bermuda’s size would cause problems. “Bermuda has a very small population. This means that the jackpots would be very low and the administrative costs would be quite high as a percentage of revenues.” Mr Schuetz also said he had discussed the topic with Roger Trott, the Commission’s director for problem and responsible gaming, who said that lotteries could present a high level of risk for problem gamers and poorer participants. Government did not respond to requests for comment by press time last night.

2017. August 1. Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission executive director Richard Schuetz has resigned for “personal and professional reasons”. Mr Schuetz will continue to serve in the position until the end of the year and help to identify and prepare his successor for the role. Commission chairman Alan Dunch said: “The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission is thankful for Richard’s two years of service, leadership and commitment to formulating a framework for Bermuda’s introduction of integrated resort casinos. We understand and support his decision to step down and are grateful for his assistance in positioning the commission and its staff for future growth. As a result of Richard’s resignation, one of our immediate priorities will be to implement a search process with a view to recruiting a new executive director. I am pleased that Richard will be assisting us in this process so that his expertise will be available to us in terms of assessing the credentials of any applicants and advising us as to whom is best suited to take over from him in this role. He will also use his remaining time with us to ensure the Hamilton Princess response to the request for proposals for a provisional gaming licence is appropriately handled without any disruption.” The commission was appointed to regulate, manage and safeguard the island’s emerging gaming industry. Mr Schuetz said: “It’s been an enormous privilege to work with the commission and its staff, to help create a viable casino industry, one that operates with a high level of integrity and ethics, and produces jobs and investment for Bermuda, as well as enhancing the island’s tourism product.” Prior to the July 18 General Election, Mr Schuetz gave notice to commission chairman Mr Dunch of his intentions. But the news was not made public in an effort to avoid it becoming “part of the clamor surrounding the political campaigns”. Mr Schuetz joined the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission in September 2015. During his time in office, several pieces of gaming legislation were approved in the House, but not without controversy. Debate over regulations establishing the cost of casino licences became particularly heated with independent MP Shawn Crockwell joining opposition MPs in declaring the fees too high. While the BCGC said it had not had any pushback about the proposed fees, Mr Crockwell claimed that Australian casino expert Tibor Vertes had raised issues in a meeting with Mr Schuetz. A defamation suit was subsequently filed by Mr Schuetz personally against Mr Vertes over comments made in an e-mail. As of yesterday, a spokeswoman for the BCGC confirmed that case remains ongoing. Prior to coming to BCGC, Mr Schuetz worked for four years with the California Gambling Control Commission. In addition to working as a senior executive in the gaming markets of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno/Tahoe, Laughlin, Minnesota, Mississippi and Louisiana, Mr Schuetz served as a consultant to the City of Detroit and the state of Kansas as they introduced casinos. For more information on the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, visit www.bcgc.bm.

2017. April 20. George Rover, the former deputy director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, has been engaged as a consultant by the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission. Mr Rover will visit the island on a monthly basis to advise on “all gaming-related matters, including the drafting of regulations, assistance with background and suitability investigations and with respect to the Request for Proposal process”, according to a statement issued by the commission. Mr Rover stepped down last year from the New Jersey State Attorney-General’s Office after 26 years of government service. He had been appointed Assistant Attorney-General in 1999 and assigned to gaming enforcement, and served as deputy director from 2011 until November 2016. Calling the Division of Gaming Enforcement “tough but fair”, Mr Rover stressed the rigorous vetting required for a viable gaming industry on the island, including anti-money laundering protocols. Mr Rover acknowledged his five-year relationship with Richard Schuetz, the executive director of the Bermuda commission. He went on to call Mr Schuetz “an invaluable resource” for launching the local industry.

2017. February 4.  New regulations were tabled by Government designed to set taxes and fees for casino gaming in Bermuda. The Casino Gaming (General Reserve and Casino Taxes) Regulations 2017 and Casino Gaming (Casino Fees) Regulations 2017 were passed. It is feared by some MPs the fee structure would deter operators coming to Bermuda. Grant Gibbons, the Minister for Economic Development, brought the new regulations before the House. He said that the fee structure and 10 per cent tax rate established in the regulations were “clearly in accord with the stated policy goals of the 2014 Casino Gaming Act”. The fee schedule sets the casino licence application fee at $600,000 and the provisional licence issue fee at $1.4 million. Under the regulations a casino licence issue is set at $1 million, while an annual casino licence fee is $1 million, “less any applicable discount”. The regulations state: “The schedule sets out the fees payable which are in addition to any requirement to reimburse the Commission for the costs of any investigation pursuant to the Act of any regulations”. 

2016. November 28. The Casino Gaming Amendment Act 2016 was passed without opposition in the Senate this morning paving the way for a new stream of economic activity on the island. Also passed without opposition were the St George’s Resort Amendment Act 2016 and The Bribery Act 2016. In passing the Casino Gaming Amendment Act, One Bermuda Alliance senator Michael Fahy pointed out that the Hamilton Princess and St George’s Resort had already been given designated site status while two further applications were being processed. Mr Fahy expressed his gratitude to the Gaming Commission and its chief executive officer, Richard Scheutz, for working “diligently to move gaming forward for Bermuda.” Independent senator James Jardine spoke favorably on extra measures taken to protect minors and vulnerable people as part of the legislative amendment. Speaking on the St George’s Resort Amendment Act, Mr Fahy assured senators that every effort had been made to help the old town to retain its Unesco world heritage designation status. Progressive Labour Party senator Renee Ming raised questions regarding an amendment that allows the developer of the hotel to have an organisation of its choice to make environment and traffic impact assessments as they relate to any “minor” adjustments to the development. Mr Fahy said that full assessments had already taken place and the amendment would merely offer flexibility on only minor changes from here on. Mr Jardine said he was “disappointed” that the process to build a hotel in the East End had taken so long, saying that he had expected ground to have been broken by now. Pressed on the need for public consultation, Mr Fahy said that the information regarding the new development was in the public domain describing it as “one of the most transparent processes” undertaken by the government. Taking time to explain the planning process relating to the St George’s development, Mr Fahy said: “In the usual way, all plans have been made available to the public to allow for objections and suggestions. The public will also be aware that the developer has made some changes to accommodate concerns raised by the Historical Building Advisory Committee relating the site line to Fort St Catherine and will also be providing public parking to facilitate beach use by the public. All in all the development is and exciting economic opportunity for St George’s and the Bermuda tourism product as a whole.” The Bribery Act which is based on the United Kingdom’s Bribery Act 2010, was enthusiastically embraced by senators of all affiliations.

2016. November 22. Revisions to Bermuda’s gaming laws were passed by MPs in the House of Assembly last night, paving the way for casinos in Bermuda. The Casino Gaming Amendment Act 2016 was passed after a fiery debate lasting more than four hours, while Casino Gaming Designation Site Orders for the St Regis Hotel in St George’s and the Hamilton Princess were also approved. The Act faced harsh criticism in Parliament from the One Bermuda Alliance’s own ranks as well as Opposition MPs. A two-year exclusion for any public officer involved in gaming from business in the new industry was denounced as a superfluous restraint of trade, with MPs calling it unnecessary given the anti-bribery legislation already in place. Economic development minister Grant Gibbons launched the debate, in which the 2014 gaming act was “streamlined” with provisions to address issues such as problem gaming. But a clause granting a provisional casino licence to Desarrollos Group, developers of the upcoming St Regis hotel for St George’s, proved unpopular. Such licences did not permit gaming, Dr Gibbons said — but merely confirmed an applicant as eligible for a full licence, enough to start construction. E-gaming, a category separate from internet gaming, would be open to guests in specific areas via their mobile devices — and the Casino Gaming Amendment Act 2016 would also allow betting. Opposition deputy leader Walter Roban opened the Progressive Labour Party’s response, calling it “a cleanup Bill for the first Bill” and criticizing the Government for the expensive “ministerial misadventure” in Singapore to create the 2014 Act. Mr Roban also queried whether Cabinet had circumvented the gaming commission in the exception for the East End developer. PLP MP Wayne Furbert echoed both points, asking the House why the Morgan’s Point developers were left off. Shawn Crockwell, the former tourism minister and now independent MP, chastised the lack of “real leadership” in the gaming delay. Noting that the America’s Cup would miss out, Mr Crockwell asked repeatedly why it had taken so long. Both Mr Crockwell and OBA backbencher Mark Pettingill excoriated clause 187, which carried the two-year business ban. Mr Crockwell questioned its timing, telling the House he had never seen it among amendments that came across his desk during his time as minister. Describing himself as “the only lawyer in this country who is a member of the international association of gaming advisers”, Mr Pettingill called the restriction “jaw-dropping. Tomorrow, former minister Crockwell has to call our clients and say ‘we can’t work for you any more’,” Mr Pettingill told the House. Both disaffected MPs added that the Bill would require their reluctant support if gaming was to go ahead. Another consistent complaint from MPs was that Desarrollos had been given special treatment simply to keep the St George’s resort deal alive. Opposition leader David Burt questioned “what research has Government done to make sure this person is fit to get a gaming licence? What work has been done to make sure that this decision will not come back to bite us? This is about keeping Desarrollos at the table. We have to think very, very carefully about what granting a provisional licence to Desarrollos means. This Bill is certainly needed and we want the gaming industry to get off the ground, but it is certainly clear this is a troubling development and it should concern all parties. If we set this precedent today, every developer is going to ask for the same thing — and they would be well within their rights to demand it.”

2015. October 1. Former Ombudsman Arlene Brock was appointed to the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission. Ms Brock served as Ombudsman for more than eight years and as the director and vice-president for the Caribbean and Latin America at the International Ombudsmans Institute. Richard Schuetz, the commission’s executive director, said: “Chairman Alan Dunch and the other members of the Casino Gaming Commission gave me clear instructions to assemble the best and the brightest individuals available to assist in the introduction of regulated casinos in Bermuda. “Having Ms Brock join our team abundantly indicates that we are on target with that goal. Ms Brock will be an integral person in helping to make certain that our activities will operate at the highest standards of integrity and ethics, and to ensure that the casino experience will enhance the tourism profile of the Island, and increase investment and employment for the people of Bermuda.” Ms Brock herself said: “I look forward to working with the commission and commission staff to realize the goal of introducing casino gaming into Bermuda with the highest level of integrity and best practices.”

2015. August 31. A gaming senior executive from the United States has been appointed executive director of the Bermuda Gaming Commission. Richard Schuetz will leave his post as commissioner for the California Gambling Control Commission to start work on the Island on September 1. According to a statement from the Bermuda commission, Mr Schuetz has worked as a senior executive in the gaming markets of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno/Tahoe, Laughlin, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Louisiana. He has served on the boards of Shuffle Master Gaming, the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino, where he was also president and CEO, and Casino Publishing. He also sat on the International Advisory Board for the Institute for the Study of Gambling Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno, and was the Co-moderator of the Institute’s Executive Development Program. Commission chairman Alan Dunch stated: “All of us at the Commission are thrilled to have Richard join us in helping to introduce casinos to Bermuda. His extensive experience as both a casino operator and as a regulator make him ideally suited to ensure that the Bermuda casino experience operates with a high degree of integrity, and offers an additional world-class tourism amenity for Bermuda. In addition, Richard’s strong background in teaching and publishing on the subject of casino gaming and its regulation is exactly what the Commission needs to assist us in educating the people of Bermuda about the benefits of this new industry to the Island as a whole.” Mr Schuetz stated: “It is a true honour to be entrusted with such an important task, and I am thrilled to be able to work hand-in-hand with the people of Bermuda to usher in this new chapter of Bermuda’s tourism and economic development.” The Commission’s task is to execute the Casino Gaming Act 2014, designed to increase employment and investment through casino development.

2015. May. Tourism Development Minister Shawn Crockwell announced two new appointments to this Commission — Judith Hall-Bean and Derek Ramm. Ms Hall-Bean retired in October 2013 as Assistant Cabinet Secretary and has more than 40 years’ experience in the public service, having served as department director of both human resources and tourism. Mr Ramm was appointed from overseas and serves as director of anti-money-laundering programmes for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. He is responsible for the oversight of anti-money-laundering compliance at 24 casinos. They join three other commission members — chairman Alan Dunch, deputy chairman Garry Madeiros and Denis Tucker.

2015. February 12. The Bermuda Government announced the first three members of the Casino Gaming Commission, who will be tasked with regulating the industry. The five-member commission will be led by Alan Dunch, who was named chairman. Garry Madeiros was named deputy chairman while Dennis Tucker will also serve on the commission. Mr Dunch, an experienced lawyer, is the director responsible for the litigation practice group of MJM Ltd, while Mr Madeiros, a chartered accountant, is the former president and CEO of Belco and a director of BF&M Life Insurance Company. Mr Tucker, meanwhile, is a former director of the Bank of Bermuda, the CEO of the Hotel Pension Trust Fund and a director of the Bank of Bermuda Foundation. Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell said the two remaining appointments have yet to be made, but one of the posts will be a former gaming commissioner from another jurisdiction with experience dealing with money laundering. "Advice was given and received that we should have someone with gaming commission experience sitting on this," Mr Crockwell said. "As you know, we have not done this before. The reason why I want to start now is that there are training opportunities in the very near future and I wanted to have, particularly the chairman and deputy chairman exposed to them, so we are getting the ball rolling. I don't know how long it will take to identify the overseas member, but a list is being compiled now so we don't expect it to be too long. The commission will be tasked with regulating the casino gaming industry on the Island when it is introduced, and will be the only entity which will determine who receives a casino licence. Legislation passed last December allows only three casino licenses to be in effect at any given time. The transfer of a casino licence without a fresh application to the commission will be prohibited, and licence-holders will be required to report any material changes in their circumstances. The commission will also have the power to approve the layout of a casino, gaming equipment and hand out licenses for key casino employees. I remain confident that resort casino gaming is right for Bermuda and that most Bermudians supported the legalization of gaming in Bermuda. It is now imperative that we put the regulatory structure in place to ensure that we create a responsible and highly respected gaming industry in Bermuda." Gaming has been a controversial issue for the One Bermuda Alliance, who had promised before their election in 2012 to hold a referendum on the topic. The Government scrapped the referendum plans in 2013 a decision which drew harsh criticism from opponents but were able to pass the Casino Gaming Act 2014 in both the House of Assembly and the Senate. Further gaming regulations are expected to come before Parliament later in 2015.

Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority Responsible for the regulation and safety oversight of aviation in Bermuda and all aircraft on the Bermuda Aircraft Registry. Previously known as the Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation, which was established in 1931, the new BCAA became a newly formed Authority on October 1st, 2016. Bermuda is a United Kingdom Overseas Territory and though it is regulated by the UK Department for Transport, the safety oversight system is separate from that of the UK. The regulatory requirements are established as the Overseas Territories Aviation Requirements (OTARs), which are in full compliance with the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Bermuda’s Aircraft Registry is extensive and ranks 10th in size when compared to the 191 signatory States to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The current Registry includes a mix of both private aircraft and commercial aircraft operated under Article 83 bis Agreements.

2019. November 29. Bermuda’s Civil Aviation Authority ranks among the best in the world on measures of safety. After a safety audit conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation in May this year, the BCAA was awarded an overall score that ranked as the tenth best out of 185 jurisdictions audited to date. The BCAA is responsible for the regulation and safety oversight of aviation in Bermuda, and more than 900 aircraft on the Bermuda Aircraft Registry. In a statement, the BCAA said the result “solidifies Bermuda’s excellent global reputation for high safety standards and a well-regulated aircraft registry”. The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, established to manage the administration and governance of the Convention of International Civil Aviation. The audit took place in Bermuda from May 6 to 16 and consisted of a detailed review of BCAA’s safety oversight system. Of the possible eight areas to be audited, ICAO chose to audit Bermuda in the five areas related to operator safety oversight, namely legislation, organisation, personnel licensing, operations and airworthiness. Thomas Dunstan, BCAA’s director-general, said: “The results are extremely important to the Authority and we are very proud of what has been achieved. A score of 95.2 per cent for effective implementation of ICAO Standards and related guidance material for the areas audited in 2019 is an excellent result and will assist us on continuing to grow the registry. I would like to thank our whole team of staff who worked very hard to prepare for the audit over the past year. We also recognise that it is a special year for the ICAO as they celebrate 75 years since the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.” The BCAA oversees the world’s largest offshore registry and is responsibility for the safety oversight of all local aviation activity. This includes aerodrome, air traffic management, certifying Bermudian-based commercial air operators and safety surveillance of foreign airlines.

2019. October 2. The director-general of the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority won global recognition in the 2019 Business Worldwide CEO Awards. Thomas Dunstan was crowned Aviation Industry Executive of The Year (Global) for his outstanding leadership through times of change. Business Worldwide CEO Awards identify and honour the most respective C-suite executives around the world, from a variety of sectors. The global civil aviation industry has been subject to significant changes over recent years, with a shift from state ownership to privatization. Mr Dunstan and his team “have approached the switch with enthusiasm and creativity”, the publication said. “As a semi-autonomous administration, BCAA has executed the perfect balance between state control and private-sector innovation.” Mr Dunstan has a bachelor of science degree in aviation management and flight operations and has attained his FAA and Canadian commercial pilot licences with multi-engine instrument and instructor ratings. Having spent ten years at Bermuda International Airport, his leadership skills, knowledge and commitment to safety led him to become manager of air operations at the airport before joining the then Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation, which later became the BCAA. Business Worldwide said in the first six months of the organizational change, Mr Dunstan created a new business plan, focusing on staff hiring and processes, building brand awareness and planning for market growth. In 2018, BCAA launched a marketing campaign to highlight its personal approach and customer-centric business model, using the tagline, “Putting you at the centre of everything we do”. The campaign highlighted BCAA team members from various departments and gives insight into different roles and personalities in a down-to-earth, friendly way. Customer experience and safety is at the core of the authority’s agenda, Mr Dunstan said. In May of this year, Bermuda Aircraft Registry added its 900th aircraft, a significant milestone which seals its reputation as a responsible, stable and growth-orientated organisation. Mr Dunstan said: “Becoming an authority has given us more financial autonomy while allowing us to be more customer focused. We work hard to establish trusted relationships with our global partners, and this is how we have been able to achieve building our current registry.”

• For more information, visit www.bcaa.bm or www.bwmonline.com/2019/08/17/bcaa-governing-the-business-of-aircraft-registration/

Bermuda College Board of Governors Bermuda College Act 1974 for this Bermuda Government owned and operated facility.
Bermuda Community Foundation 2016. November 3. The Bermuda Community Foundation has approved $480,000 in grants to 43 nonprofit organisations. According to a statement, the foundation’s board of directors made the grants, which represent the BCF’s final grants of the 2016 fiscal year, from seven donor funds. “BCF’s grantmaking programmes are supported by a range of unrelated donors who wish to ensure the sustainability and success of nonprofits in Bermuda,” managing director Myra Virgil stated. "These donors use the resources and expertise of BCF to support their grantmaking. This extraordinary set of grants totaling almost half a million dollars is the result.” In the field of community improvement and capacity building, BCF approved $135,000 in grants to deliver para-transit services, build organizational capacity in the nonprofit sector, help build a national employment registry and database, and promote nonprofit certification and accreditation. Grantees include Age Concern Bermuda, Project Action, MyFutureBermuda, the Coalition for Community Activism and YouthNet. Community-based youth development efforts such as the PHC Foundation’s scholarship programme, the Bermuda Bridge Club, Bermuda’s Brazilian Football School, Raleigh and YouthNet also received support. To advance community development, BCF’s board approved $155,000 in grants from donor-advised funds to go towards infrastructure building projects. These include the provision of residences for people struggling with mental health issues, an initiative managed by the Bermuda Mental Health Foundation. The Coalition for Community Activism received a grant to support efforts to improve educational outcomes through their work with parents and the Ministry of Education. And educational programmes received a funding boost of $81,000 to support the work of the Adult Education School, Bermuda Education Network, Impact Mentoring Academy, Centre for Talented Youth and CARE Computer Services scholarships. BCF also approved $44,000 in grants to the Coalition for the Protection of Children, Salvation Army, the Bermuda Society for the Blind, the Family Centre and others to continue providing direct service support to people in need. Those interested in setting up their own charitable funds to improve Bermuda can learn more about donor-advised philanthropy at bcf.bm.  A complete list of grant recipients will also soon be available.
Bermuda Dental Board Dental Practitioners Act 1950. It became notorious internationally when English dentists, most recently Dr. Thompson, were denied a Work Permit by this board on the grounds it would take business away from Bermudians. But locals have to wait for up to six months to see a dentist because of a severe shortage.
Bermuda Deposit Insurance Corporation

The 2011 Bermuda legislation to provide deposit insurance of $25,000 per depositor is the result of a collaborative effort between financial regulator the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), the Ministry of Finance and the Bermuda Bankers Association (BBA). In addition, technical advice was provided by the International Monetary Fund. Deposit insurance is a guarantee to depositors in a bank that they will be compensated up to a maximum specified amount of their deposits upon failure of that institution. It has three main objectives, to protect small depositors; promote stability in Bermuda's financial system and economy by providing prompt reimbursement or access to insured depositors' funds; and promote competition between financial institutions in Bermuda. Under the legislation, membership of the scheme is compulsory for all relevant financial institutions. The premiums are paid by the banks as a fixed percentage of insurable deposits. The Bermuda Deposit Insurance Corporation has a Bermuda Government/ Ministry of Finance-appointed board of directors to run the scheme. The legislation also entails elements on protection from personal liability and preservation of confidentiality.

Bermuda Drug Information Network Function includes providing the Government with comparative drug-related data for each calendar year
Bermuda Family Council Ministry of Health and Family services. 
Bermuda Financial Policy Council 2018. September 13. The former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados to Bermuda is on the island to meet fellow members of the Bermuda Financial Policy Council. DeLisle Worrell was recently appointed to the council, which was created to advise on the development of Bermuda’s financial stability framework. During his visit, he met with David Burt, the Premier. During today’s meeting, which took place at the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the discussion focused on the current financial climate and other key socio-economic areas of concern. Members of the council include Mr Burt, Sir Andrew Large, the former deputy governor of the Bank of England and Jeremy Cox, CEO of the Bermuda Monetary Authority. Other members are Michael Butt, chairman of Axis Capital Holdings; Dame Amelia Fawcett, chairwoman of the Hedge Fund Standards Board; and Gil Tucker, former Bermuda managing partner of EY, who is on the board of HSBC Bermuda. The council is supported by the Ministry of Finance and the BMA.
Bermuda Health Council Since 2004. Sterling House, 16 Wesley Street, Hamilton HM11. PO Box HM 3381, Hamilton, HM PX. Phone 292-6420. Fax 292-8067. A Bermuda Government appointed entity. Official health watchdog. Responsible for regulating, coordinating and enhancing the delivery of health services in Bermuda.  Made up of doctors, insurers, hospital officials and patient representatives. Also responsible for regulating the price of drugs sold to the public and conducting research on the subject of public health. Receives an annual grant from the Bermuda Government.
Bermuda Historical Wrecks Authority Historic Wrecks Act 2001 (amended 2004), in place of the 1959 Wreck & Salvage Act.
Bermuda Hospitality Institute Government-appointed, Premier announces the CEO, in 2010 Karla Lacey. Training institute, aims to encourage more Bermudians to enter the hospitality industry. 2010 board members are Allan Trew, E. Michael Jones, Miriam Johnston, Nelda Simons, Greg Wilson, Carlita O'Brien and Kevin Monkman.
Bermuda Hospitals Board A Bermuda Government quango. Bermuda Hospitals Board Act 1970. 
Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust

P. O. Box HM 2273, Hamilton HM JX. T. 441-298-0151. F. 441-296-1072. An independent organization founded as the formal charitable arm for accepting donations and fundraising on behalf of the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB). A separate entity from the BHB and Ministry of Health, governed by its own Board of Trustees who determine policy and are responsible for its own sound fiscal management.

2016. September 19. The Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust has named Lisa Sheppard as its new development director. Ms Sheppard, a former reporter at The Royal Gazette, will be tasked with fundraising for both the BHCT and the Bermuda Hospitals Board after being promoted to her role from within the Trust. “I am very excited by this opportunity to give back to my community,” said the Bermudian in a statement. “There are so many great initiatives being under taken by the BHB. Healthcare is so important for all of us, and it’s an honour to be able to help in such a tangible way.” BHCT chairman Jonathan Brewin said: “I am delighted that Lisa has strengthened our team, as we strive to maximize support to the BHB. She has already demonstrated great energy and commitment to the development of the BHCT, and I look forward to working closely with her.” BHCT executive director Ralph Richardson added: “Lisa’s maturity, experience and temperament have been the key influencers in our decision to promote her to this new role. “We are looking forward to great things from her.”

Bermuda Housing Corporation A Bermuda Government quango. Bermuda Housing Act 1980. Established by law in 1973 and modeled after the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation. It was charged with the responsibility of ensuring Bermudians have adequate and affordable places to live. 
Bermuda Housing Trust Bermuda Housing Trust Act 1968. Established in 1965 after several businessmen and the Rector of Christ Church in Warwick recognized the need for housing at reasonable rental rates. Through their efforts and the generous financial assistance of W. S. Purvis, the trust built 62 units at Elizabeth Hills, Purvis Park and Heydon. For many years, Roderick Ferguson handled the daily functions.
Bermuda Independence Commission Formed in 2005 at the urging of then-Premier Alex Scott.

2019. August 23. Bermudians were called on to “dare to invent the future” at a packed forum last night on national independence. See http://www.royalgazette.com/assets/pdf/RG407638823.pdf. The call came from panellist Ryan Perinchief, who brought the audience to its feet at the Bermuda Industrial Union’s EF Gordon Hall. Mr Perinchief, founder of the Future Leaders Programme, added: “It is time for us as Bermudians to set forward a new vision, before we are thrust into someone else’s.” The final of the five speakers prompted Alex Scott, who served as premier from 2003 to 2006 and appointed the Bermuda Independence Commission in 2005, to tell the room: “Ryan gives me hope, but despair in that I let him down. It was under my watch that we brought out the basis of going independent — but were unable to move it forward.” Mr Perinchief spoke of Bermuda’s “colonial predicament” as an island viewing itself as far from the Caribbean nations that embraced independence decades earlier. He said: “Due to this disconnect, we have consistently told ourselves we are out here on our own, another world, and not ready for independence.” Organisers of the forum highlighted Mr Perinchief as the night’s youngest speaker. Calling for Bermudians to connect with their identity and embrace “a psychological shift”, Mr Perinchief grounded the island’s decades of hesitation over national sovereignty in its colonial status. He said: “I lament that it is impossible to have a unified conversation on independence as Bermudians. Bermuda is fundamentally, as the oldest British colony and the first to import African slaves, a tribalist state.” Voicing regret at his inability to move independence forward, Mr Scott said: “When I listen to young Ryan, it’s like a race car being kept in a garage or being made to go at 20 miles an hour.” Mr Perinchief told the audience a referendum on independence was unlikely to succeed unless opinion was tilted by interference on the part of Britain. He said: “A unique opportunity that might have the potential to change is with the UK’s recent announcement that they want to legislate for Bermuda on beneficial ownership — as well as with Brexit.” Mr Scott opened the talks with an overview of the UK’s brewing political chaos over leaving the European Union. To applause, he said: “Bermuda will not become a democracy until the majority of Bermudians make it one.” He added that the push for sovereignty was being made primarily by the Progressive Labour Party and black Bermudians. Cordell Riley, a statistician and vice-president of Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda, said reports and papers on independence went back to the civil unrest of the 1970s. Mr Riley said: “When I hear people say we need more information, I don’t know how much more information we need.” Issues surrounding independence were catalogued in the Bermuda Independence Commission’s report, he said. Several speakers noted Bermuda’s racial divide, both socially and on the issue of independence. Lloyd Williams, a Bermudian living in the independent Caribbean country of St Kitts and Nevis, said he had been disturbed at the racial divisions he had witnessed back in Bermuda. Mr Williams said: “When I walked around on the 24th of May, it was a black Bermudian parade. This is supposed to be a Bermuda parade.” He told the gathering of hundreds: “We have been preconditioned to think of black and white; colonialism not only brought us the government system, but it brought us a religion which perpetuates racism. Unless we see these truths, we won’t be able to address that properly and see ourselves as human beings.” The room at the BIU had filled to capacity before the forum had begun last night, with attendees listening in the hall outside. David Burt, the Premier, was present along with a host of government MPs, and Michael Dunkley, an Opposition backbencher. The event, organised by activists LaVerne Furbert and Raynol Todd, also heard from Phil Perinchief, a former attorney-general and a vocal advocate for independence. He is also the uncle of Ryan Perinchief. Mr Perinchief questioned people who had opposed independence 20 years ago by saying “yes, independence — but not at this time”. He added: “When asked the question again, they say the same thing. So when? And what time?”

2019. August 21. A former premier who appointed the Bermuda Independence Commission in 2005 has asked young people to turn out for tomorrow night’s special forum on the topic. Alex Scott, who served as premier from 2003 to 2006, said: “The political times here and internationally require us to think soberly about what are going to do.” Mr Scott added that the discussion was like taking part in a family conference. He said: “If you are a young person becoming an adult and you wish to have an influence and a place that you really feel is home, you should join the discussion. A people cannot have total authority if another parliament can take your decision and thwart what you want.” Mr Scott added that Bermuda “was and still is a divided community” that remained split along racial grounds on independence. He said: “It is the penultimate step for the sovereignty of a community. Bermuda has one of the most advanced constitutions in the remaining British territories. To paraphrase the BIC’s report, there is no other country more prepared for independence than Bermuda. There has been occasion when the British have given us the nudge towards independence, which was the case with the White Paper on independence in 1979.” Mr Scott sat on the Pitt Commission, appointed to investigate Bermuda’s inequalities in the wake of riots that engulfed the island in 1977. He said: “Out of its report came a call for Bermuda to move towards independence. The commission came out of the series of disturbances before it, but there has never been a riot since. The commission’s prescription for Bermuda, from a governance perspective, has worked. That was the beginning of the end for the vice-like grip that the United Bermuda Party had on Bermuda The political pendulum swung towards the PLP, and 20 years later the Government was transferred to the PLP for the first time.” Independence was put to the public as a referendum in 1995 by Sir John Swan, a former UBP premier, who resigned from office when it was rejected. Mr Scott suggested that, if white people had supported Sir John’s push for independence, the UBP might have remained in power. He added: “He could have written the rules and constructed a constitution that would have probably sustained the UBP for far longer.” Mr Scott said independence was “relevant to now, as opposed to just historic — the discussion is not independence for independence’s sake. All informed observers feel Bermuda is ready.” Independence has been a goal of the Progressive Labour Party since its formation in 1963. However, Mr Scott traced Bermuda’s push for self-determination to earlier decades, including the work of activist E.F. Gordon and the labour movement in the 1940s. The forum, entitled Independence for Bermuda — Now, or Never? will be held from 6pm to 8pm at the Bermuda Industrial Union on Union Street. The topic of independence will be up for discussion at a forum tomorrow night. Panellists scheduled for a “now or never” review will examine self-determination for the island from 6pm at the Bermuda Industrial Union headquarters in Hamilton. The panellists are:

  • Phil Perinchief: a political activist and former Progressive Labour Party attorney-general, Mr Perinchief was a member of the Bermuda Independence Commission set up in 2005
  • Ryan Robinson Perinchief: founder and director of the Future Leaders Programme to mentor and develop Bermudian students, Mr Perinchief is a law graduate of Durham University’s in England
  • Cordell Riley: a statistician and former president of Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda, Mr Riley has served since 2014 as the Bermuda College’s institutional and research co-ordinator
  • Alex Scott: a former premier under the PLP, Mr Scott initiated the creation of the Bermuda Independence Commission, and served on the Pitt Royal Commission investigating the social and economic roots behind the civil unrest of 1977
  • Lloyd Williams: Lives in St Kitts and Nevis. He is a musician and hydroponic farmer in Nevis but in Bermuda as a caregiver for his mother. He was invited to speak as a Bermudian living in a small independent nation.
Bermuda London Office See  www.bdalondonoffice.co.uk. Email emaileventslondonoffice@gov.bm or call 020 7518 9900. 
Bermuda Maritime Steering Committee 2018. December 14. “Significant progress” has been made to bring Bermuda up to an international standard for the operation of maritime functions, the transport minister said this morning. Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, provided MPs with an update on the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation Instrument Implementation Code in the House of Assembly. Mr DeSilva said the code is “concerned with providing a unified international standard for the operation of maritime functions by IMO members states”. He added that the code also formed the basis of audit standards for a mandatory audit scheme. The UK audit — including Overseas Territories — is scheduled to take place in September 2020. The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency will conduct audits next year of Overseas Territories ahead of the 2020 assessment. Mr DeSilva said: “To properly implement and enforce Bermuda’s rights, obligations and responsibilities with respect to the relevant IMO Instruments, current legislation, policies and procedures must be reviewed, gaps identified, responsibilities clarified and remedies put in place.” He added that the “co-operation and collaboration” of a number of ministries, departments and quangos was needed to tackle the task. Mr DeSilva said: “I am pleased to report that we are making significant progress.” He said that the Bermuda Maritime Steering Committee had been created to provide oversight of the work. Mr DeSilva said that other work to ensure Bermuda’s readiness had also been completed — including a visit of the United States Coast Guard Strike Team in September. He added: “The purpose of the visit was to discuss our oil pollution response readiness and to review the existing Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Coast Guard for major oil spill response.” Mr DeSilva said that representative from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency had visited Bermuda last month to review the island’s pollution response capability. He added that a strategy document and support manual required ahead of next year’s audit had been completed. Mr DeSilva said that the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation Instrument Implementation Code “is of significant importance and mandatory for Bermuda to maintain its very good reputation as a compliant and leading maritime jurisdiction”. He added: “With the progress that we have made thus far, and with the continued Government support and co-operation of the stakeholder departments, I am confident that we will be compliant prior to the imposed deadline — and I will Endeavour to keep this honourable House updated on our progress.”
Bermuda Medical Council Medical Practitioners Act 1950.
Bermuda Monetary Authority BMA House, 43 Victoria Street, Hamilton. P O Box 2447, Hamilton HM JX. Tel: (441) 295-5278. Since 1969. A Bermuda Government quango and regulatory agency. It processes applications and recommends to the Ministry of Finance when prudent to establish companies, partnerships, collective insurance schemes, trust companies and issue permits. It conducts background checks of applicants for  incorporated business entities and regulates the banking and financial services industries. Game-changers BMA has dealt with during its 50-year history. The first came soon after the authority was formed in 1969 when, the following year, the UK ended its sterling area-based exchange control laws. It was a surprise move that left Bermuda out on its own and excluded from sterling area. Bermuda was no longer part of a club that was thought, in those days, to be the source of its economic stability. The BMA introduced the Bermuda dollar, effectively replacing the British pound as the island’s currency. Its second job was to assume responsibility for supervising the banks, while the third was taking over responsibility for vetting company licence applications, and the fourth job was exchange control. Its responsibilities increased over the years, and it took responsibility for the island’s insurance industry in 2002. The second major game-changer was the global financial crisis of the late 2000s. From the early days of captive insurance companies, to the arrival of the large commercial reinsurers, and more recently to fintech and alternative capital, the BMA has refereed a game in which the goalposts were constantly being moved. Since 2005 — the year of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, and the introduction of insurance sidecars — the BMA’s function has become more complex and challenging. The island has had, in the BMA, an integrated supervisory architecture; one regulator for all financial services. What that meant was the left hand knew what the right was doing. Elsewhere in the world, separate supervision for banking, insurance, and regulation for other financial services has generally applied and still applies but is a situation which many authorities today no longer favour. When Bermuda set its sights on full equivalence to the EU’s Solvency II standards for its commercial insurance regime, it was a tough challenge but the aim was achieved in 2016, and it included a negotiated carve out for the captive sector. Solvency II served as a major rallying point, bringing private industry and the markets regulatory teams together on common ground like never before. Today, Bermuda and other jurisdictions are getting to grips with EU concerns about economic substance. Only time will tell whether meeting the challenge of economic substance will have the same unifying effect as Solvency II. Regarding the regulations now in effect  Bermuda companies engaged in relevant activities, such as banking, insurance, fund management and other financial services activities, are required to meet an economic substance test. In March 2019, the island was placed on the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes as a result of a typographical error in economic substance regulations submitted by the Bermuda Government to the EU. The island was removed from the list in May 2019. The damage Bermuda sustained on March 12, when it was temporarily placed on the EU blacklist, is not irreparable. But it served as a warning that, despite the close relationships we’ve developed with the world’s financial authorities, Bermuda is not immune to reputational setbacks. It cannot afford to become complacent. The EU has forced every offshore financial centre in the world to change its game. Bermuda has to respond by showing it can apply an appropriate level of vetting. It has to show that even though our technical analysis may cost in lost clients here and there, Bermuda will not accept business that even remotely resembles a sham.

2019. August 30. The island’s financial regulator and currency issuer has struck new coins (see photo below) to celebrate its 50th anniversary.   The Bermuda Monetary Authority has issued triangular coins featuring a compass rose and a map of Bermuda which is available in $5 in gold, $2 in silver and 25c in cupronickel. The authority has also issued a Bermudiana coin, the first in a series of six designed to feature the island’s national flower. The Bermudiana commemorative coin has two colour versions that highlight the distinctive purple petals and yellow centre of Bermuda’s national flower, as well as gold, silver and cupronickel denominations, The BMA is responsible for currency and also regulates the financial services sector. The coins are available at market prices from the Note & Coin Exhibit at BMA House, Victoria Street, Hamilton, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. For more information on the BMA’s Commemorative Coins, email currency@bma.bm, or call 295 5278.

2019 BMA coins

2019. January 17. The Bermuda Monetary Authority announced changes to its Board, which includes a new Executive Chair and Deputy Chair. After nine years on the BMA Board, six as Chair, Gerald Simons has retired as Chair of the Board, and will be replaced by Jeremy Cox as Executive Chair for three years. Mr. Simons said, “Serving on the Board of the BMA has been an honour and a privilege. It gave me a unique perspective of financial services. I have been impressed by the dedication of the Board and the expertise and commitment of staff of the Authority at all levels.” Other departures from the Board include Deputy Chair, Allan Marshall and Peter Hardy, who served on the Board for six and three years, respectively. Mr. Cox thanked the departing Board members and wished them well in their future endeavors. The BMA welcomes its new Deputy Chair, Donald Scott, to its Board,” Mr. Cox said. “As Bermuda’s former Secretary to the Cabinet & Head of Civil Service, and Financial Secretary, Mr. Scott brings a wealth of experience to this important role. Additionally, James Newsome and Francine Mason joined our Board in late 2018. Dr. Newsome is a former Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and was President and CEO of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Ms. Mason is a Certified Public Accountant with two decades experience working in Bermuda’s trust sector. Their blended experience is a valuable addition.”

2018. December 11. New, wide-ranging fee increases by the Bermuda Monetary Authority have been approved by the Bermuda Government. However, the changes will be phased in over a three-year period rather than two years as had originally been proposed. A review this year concluded that the BMA will require up to 39 additional full-time staff by 2020 to continue effectively discharging its duties, while its annual operating costs have been projected to rise to $61 million by 2020, up $11.7 million on last year. Against this backdrop, Curtis Dickinson, Minister of Finance, passed an order in the House of Assembly on Friday that provides for amendments to the fees charged by the BMA. Insurance and reinsurance companies, banks, corporate service providers, trusts and credit unions will be among those affected by the changes. Mr Dickinson made reference to the review conduced by the BMA with assistance from an international consulting firm, that resulted in fee change proposals. The authority recorded a budget deficit of $1.63 million last year, its fifth annual shortfall in the last decade. It expects to record a further operating loss this year. It has previously covered budget shortfalls from its general reserve account. Last year its reserves shrank by $2.1 million. As a regulator, the BMA works to protect and enhance Bermuda’s reputation and position as a leading international financial-services centre. It has said it is enhancing its risk-based supervision approach, coverage and service levels; meeting evolving international standards, but to do so it needs to further enhance its operations and add to its supervisory resources. One way this can be achieved is by raising fees. Mr Dickinson said the BMA recognized market conditions remain challenging in a number of regulated sectors, and this had been taken into account when the proposed revised fees were assessed. During the global financial crisis that started around 2008, and continuing in recent years, fee increases by the BMA were moderated to reduce the impact on the financial-services industry. Mr Dickinson said: “This has, however, contributed to the authority operating at a deficit, with resultant budget shortfalls being covered from existing reserves.” He added: “Consequently, certain existing fees will be adjusted and/or new fees be introduced to reflect the authority’s resource utilization for these ongoing supervisory activities. Also, the basis on which fees are charged will be simplified so that entities will find it easier to determine what fees they need to pay.” One of the four guiding principles that will inform the revised fees is the need for the island to maintain its competitiveness and “account for pricing relative to peer regulatory bodies to ensure Bermuda remains competitive”. Mr Dickinson said that during the consultation process and subsequent meetings between the BMA and industry stakeholder groups, the most prevalent comment was the need for the fee changes to be phased in over a longer period of time, which has resulted in the proposed timescale being altered from two years to three. He added: “The insurance industry’s request that the authority have greater flexibility regarding fees to be applied in specific circumstances, such as where affiliated insurers have similar risk profiles and in cases where combined application fees would otherwise be payable, has also been addressed via separate creation [in the Insurance Act] of a power to exempt or reduce fees.”

Bermuda National Library Committee Transfer of Functions and Reorganization Act 1970. 
Bermuda National Trust Council Bermuda National Trust Act 1969. 
Bermuda Nurses Association (BNA). RC 374.  Committed to supporting its members in the goal to improve and maintain optimal wellness for the people of Bermuda. According to the International Council for Nurses, nursing is often described as the sleeping giant that should be awakened to realize its full potential. Nurses are at the core of health delivery but are often marginalized from contribution to health policy development and decision-making. Nurses play a fundamental and critical role in the healthcare continuum and their insight into many aspects of patient care and health policy generally is valued.
Bermuda Nursing Council Nurses Act 1969. P. O. Box 674, Hamilton HM CX, Bermuda. Telephone (441) 236-0224 extension 304. Fax (441) 232-1823. Chairperson, three representatives of General Nurses; representative of Enrolled Nurses; a Chief Nursing Officer; two representatives of Nurse Specialists; one Member of the Public appointed by the Bermuda Government who is neither a registered practitioner nor a registered nurse; and one representative of the Bermuda Branch of the British Medical Association. Bermuda Nursing Council Committees are the Credentials Committee; Education Committee with four members; and the Regulations and Code of Ethics Committees with no specified members. It regulates nursing practice; revise rules and regulations governing nursing; issues licenses to persons who qualify to practice; uphold quality nursing standards; prescribes minimum educational courses for nurses wishing to practice in Bermuda; maintains a library source of accredited schools; provides financial assistance to nursing students through an awards scheme; advises prospective nursing students of other awards and scholarships; denies or suspend or revoke individual licenses for failure to comply with or meet council requirements; and prosecutes nurses who violate the law as determined by the Bermuda Nursing Council Act. The Nursing Act 1997 guides its day to day activities.  Under the Nurses Act 1969, all nurses of all types, whether registered or enrolled, are required to renew their licenses annually, for a specific fee. Those not meeting the October 31 deadline pay a late licensing fee and are suspended from their jobs until payment is received. There is also a register of Inactive nurses and a fee payable by them. Many nurses earn less than $30 an hour, unlike in most hospitals in North America. The Council provides Scholarships to students who have entered a Nurse Training Program at a Council-approved institution, leading to eligibility for Licensure as a Registered Nurse in Bermuda.
Bermuda Parliamentary Boundaries Commission 2015. October 14.  The members of the Boundaries Commission were announced by Governor George Fergusson. Chairman is Francis Alexis, QC, the former Attorney General of Grenada, who completed his role as chairman of that jurisdiction’s constitutional reform advisory committee. David Jenkins, the Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island in Canada, is the new judicial member. He is also Chief Justice of its Court of Appeal. Mr Jenkins performed the role of Judicial Member on the 2009 Bermuda Parliamentary Boundaries Commission. Government appointees are Sylvan Richards and Mark Pettingill, while Opposition members Wayne Furbert and Walton Brown were also appointed. Mr Fergusson, as Governor, is bound under the constitution to appoint members before the end of 2017. The commission will report to Parliament on whether changes in constituency boundaries are required, and to specify changes if so required.
Bermuda Police Association 2019. August 7. “Demoralised” police were considering their options last night after a further delay in negotiations with the Government on pay and conditions, their representative body said. Sergeant Andrew Harewood, the chairman of the Bermuda Police Association, said officers feared that the Government’s refusal to honour a partial agreement struck in May was linked to residual ill will from the clash between police and demonstrators outside Parliament in December 2016 led to protesters being pepper-sprayed. He was speaking after he warned on Monday that negotiations were at risk of breaking down. Mr Harewood said the incident, in which officers were assaulted and pepper spray was used on members of the public, might have caused “the Government’s ill feelings towards the Bermuda Police Service”. He said that the police service were still criticized over the confrontation with protesters, who were angry about the public-private partnership deal to redevelop the airport. He said: “That’s all we hear about in the papers and public statements. It’s unprofessional for the Government to be bashing the police for no apparent reason.” Talks have been held over the past 18 months through the independent Public Sector Negotiation Team on terms of employment for police. Other problems still to be settled include Government Employee Health Insurance, and legal coverage for police officers. Mr Harewood said there had been progress in talks in the wake of an emergency meeting held by the BPA in April. He insisted that the partial agreement later reached with the PSNT was legally binding and that it was “bad faith” that the Government had refused to accept it. Mr Harewood added: “Part of the issue is that we do not have a union where we can go on strike. We feel that Government tries to take advantage of police.” Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said yesterday that the police were of “value”. However, he added: “All outstanding contractual matters, including salary and contractual negotiations, fall outside of my remit and come under the minister with responsibility for labour. Outstanding matters are with the Public Sector Negotiating Team and are still being negotiated.” Mr Harewood said the BPA hoped to hold a general meeting next week to discuss its options. He said: “The members are not happy. This is not a job; it’s a duty and we need a high morale to do our job. What causes a police officer to stand in front of a person and take a bullet so that person can live? It’s about morale and a sense of duty. When you take that from officers, it makes the job dangerous for them and for the public.” Mr Harewood said if talks did break down the negotiations could be referred to the Department of Workforce Development for “settlement by conciliation”. He added: “That process takes 14 days. If not, then the matter goes to arbitration.” Lovitta Foggo, the labour minister, did not respond to a request for comment.
Bermuda Police Service Bermuda's Police entity, island-wide
Bermuda Prison Officers Association (BPOA) 2019. November 30. The Labour Dispute Tribunal defended its decision to require prison officers to make health insurance payments on the second day of a Supreme Court hearing. While the Government maintained that prison officers were never promised free health insurance, it accepted that employment contracts for officers produced in 2017 and 2018 stated that uniformed officers received free Government Employee Health Insurance. Gregory Howard, from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, said he could not say how the clause was included, but that it could not be supported in the law. He said: “It recognizes the status quo, but it doesn’t reflect the policy position of the Government when this was drafted.” Mr Howard added that the tribunal had determined that the Government Employees Health Insurance Act, which requires government employees to pay into the GEHI scheme, was the “law of the land”. Lawyer Mark Diel, representing the tribunal, denied the suggestion that it was biased towards forcing the removal of GEHI exemptions from prison officers. He said: “The express purpose was settling the differences between the parties.” Mr Diel added that it made sense for the dispute to be referred to the tribunal before there was a risk of industrial action, particularly after prison officers marched on Parliament in June. He said that while prison officers’ work is not legislatively deemed an “essential service”, in the everyday sense of the word the prison officers are indeed essential. Mr Diel said the tribunal found that under the GEHI Act 1986, the prison officers were required to pay the employee portion of their health insurance costs, although the Government had been paying that portion for 33 years. He said that under the law, the Government should not make the payments for them, as it has done since 1986, and that the tribunal had rejected a proposal to “grandfather in” present prison officers for that reason. Chief Justice Narinder Hargun commented it was a “bizarre case” given the long history of payments by the Government. “People in Government took the view, if I look at the individual employment contracts in 2017 and 2018, there was nothing wrong with saying they will give free health insurance,” the Chief Justice said. “This is a long-held position and Government had been making payments on behalf of employees. It certainly didn’t occur to anybody that they couldn’t do it.” The case comes after years of negotiations between the Government and the Prison Officers Association, whose collective bargaining agreement formally ended in 2010. The Government had openly sought to require prison officers to make contributions as part of a policy to ensure that all those who benefit from the GEHI pool actually pay into it. The dispute was brought in August to the tribunal, which found the prison officers were entitled to pay increases of 2.5 per cent for the financial year starting April 1, 2017, and 2 per cent the next year to match pay increases given to other government employees. Prison officers had sought greater increases to create parity with officers in the Bermuda Police Service. But the tribunal also decided that the prison officers should begin to make GEHI contributions. Delroy Duncan, lawyer for the POA, said the prison officers had a “substantial” expectation of free health insurance based on their employment contracts. He added that, even with the increased salary, the result was a net loss for prison officers. But the Government said most contracts offered medical care, not insurance, and claimed that they did not have a reasonable expectation they would receive free insurance.

2019. November 29. Prison officers fought against changes that require them to make health insurance payments in the Supreme Court yesterday. The Bermuda Prison Officers Association argued that it had a substantial expectation that the officers would be exempted from making the payments based on their employment contracts. But the Government said, despite the officers receiving free insurance for more than 30 years, their contracts never guaranteed it. The Labour Dispute Tribunal ruled in August that prison officers would have to begin to pay the employee portion of their Government Employee Health Insurance contributions. The tribunal also granted the officers pay increases of 2.5 per cent in the first financial year and 2 per cent next year. Delroy Duncan, lawyer for the BPOA, said that even with the pay increases, the decision would result in a net loss for the prison officers. He told the court that prison officers had received free medical care since the 1960s and employment contracts drawn up to 2017 still included provisions to allow free medical and dental care. But the Government had recently tried to remove that benefit in negotiations in an effort to “equalise” the requirement that government workers make GEHI payments. Mr Duncan said: “That effectively means taking away the free GEHI as documented in the contracts of employment for employees of the disciplinary forces.” The lawyer argued that the decision, if allowed, would go against the officers’ employment contracts and, as such, that tribunal’s powers. He said the Government had attempted to use the tribunal to resolve matters when public-sector negotiations grind to a halt, but added that such matters should be dealt with through agreed arbitration. “The issue is when the public-sector mediation team runs out of steam, what happens then?” Mr Duncan questioned. “For expediency’s sake, people have gone along with expanding the powers of the tribunal beyond their statutory remit.” Mr Duncan added that the tribunal had wrongly classified the free insurance as a “procedural” benefit, rather than a “substantial” benefit. He called on the Supreme Court to order the Government to abide by the prison officers’ existing employment contracts and to reimburse them for any health insurance payments already made. However, Gregory Howard, from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, said the officers’ contracts did not mention insurance, but instead that they could receive medical care without out-of-pocket expenses. Mr Howard said the contracts essentially offered to cover any co-pay — a benefit prison officers would retain — but it did not exempt them from deductions for health insurance. He said the Government had paid both the employer and employee share of GEHI contributions for prisons officers since 1986 — an annual cost that has grown to $1.69 million. Mr Howard said he had “no information” about why the Government had made the payments for the past 33 years. He told the court that the prison officers had no legitimate expectation that they would continue to receive free insurance, and that the Government had made clear the intention to ensure that all those who benefit from the GEHI pool actually pay into it. “We have a period of protracted negotiations about the matter where one party refused to even have it on the table for discussion. We have an announcement for a policy change from the House of Legislature. We have offers to cushion the change sent out in a letter prior to the hearing and they were not accepted by the officers. There was an offer to grandfather in existing officers. There was no give at all.” The hearing continues.

2019. May 2. The Prison Officers Association has blasted the Government for “platitudes, no actions, just promises for 20 years” over “unaddressed adverse matters pertaining to safety, security, and work conditions”. The group has also sent a vote of no confidence against six members of the senior management at the Department of Corrections. A statement sent out this afternoon, after the announcement on Monday by national security minister Wayne Caines that Westgate prison faced “indefinite” lockdown, accused both the Progressive Labour Party and the One Bermuda Alliance of lagging on addressing officers’ “safety and health”. The POA also criticized the lack of notice, or any official statement, on the continuing secondment of Lieutenant-Colonel Eddie Lamb, the Commissioner of Corrections, who was moved to another department for nine months. The officers’ group said Colonel Lamb’s absence was now more than one year. Members are working from a Collective Bargaining Agreement dating to 2008, with “no increase in salary for a decade, inclusive of any allowance for cost of living adjustments”. The POA also castigated the Public Service Negotiations Team, which has been in talks with the association since 2016. “The POA recently discovered in discussions that the PSNT did not have a mandate to negotiate in 2016-17 and has not met with management of Corrections to discuss the CBA proposals since March 2018,” the statement continued, saying talks had been held with Mr Caines along with Collingwood Anderson, the Permanent Secretary, and senior management at Corrections, over “outstanding matters”. The statement confirmed that members had voted to go on work to rule, which was announced on Monday by Mr Caines. Last Friday, officers were assaulted by inmates at the prison, and the POA meeting with the move for industrial action would result in Westgate on lockdown under a “skeleton crew”, the minister said on Monday. In the statement today, the POA said its unanimous vote of no confidence in department leaders had been sent to Mr Anderson. The statement closed: “The POA requests the respect and remuneration so belatedly forgotten and yet well deserved.”

Bermuda Psychologists Council Psychological Practitioners Act 1998. 

2018. March 5. Parliament has approved legislation to update the regulation of psychologists. The Psychological Practitioners Amendment Act 2018 replaces 20-year-old legislation governing the profession. Anyone not registered in Bermuda will now be prohibited from practising as a psychologist. Practitioners also have to get indemnity insurance against claims of negligence and malpractice. The updates were made in consultation with the Bermuda Psychologists Registration Council, which will become the Bermuda Psychologists Council. Jeanne Atherden, the Leader of the Opposition, and shadow health minister Susan Jackson backed the legislation. Tinée Furbert of the Progressive Labour Party said the updates were “succinct as regards psychology”.

Bermuda Public Funds Investment Committee Public Funds Act 1954. 
Bermuda Public Services Union 2017. November 20. A deal to give government workers a 2.5 per cent pay rise was struck yesterday with the Bermuda Public Services Union. The new three-year collective bargaining agreement was signed between the public sector negotiating team and the BPSU. Lovitta Foggo, Minister of Government Reform, said the deal was “a very important development for the Government and for the BPSU membership. Since coming into office, this government committed to upholding fairness. And with this new CBA, we are fulfilling our promises while demonstrating that we appreciate the good works of our public service. While the negotiation process continues with various other unions, the Government is pleased to highlight the successful completion of the BPSU agreement.” Negotiations have been under way since July. The Government’s offer of a 2.5 per cent pay increase was backdated to the start of April. Ms Foggo thanked the Public Sector Negotiation Team composed of Gary Phillips, Martin Law and John Harvey.Jason Hayward, president of the BPSU and a government senator, said the agreement would operate until September 2020. Mr Hayward said it was the civil service’s first negotiated CBA since 2008 and “a significant milestone for our membership”. He added the increase other contractual gains were “a morale booster for our members, especially after years of sacrifice”. Mr Hayward said: “This agreement was achieved through a collaborative process of interest-based negotiations. The new collective agreement will ensure a working environment where public service officers can focus on providing world-class service both locally and internationally. The agreement also strengthens the BPSU’s working relationship and partnership with the Government and will enhance working conditions for public service officers.”
Bermuda Shipping & Maritime Authority 2018. February 3. Public works permanent secretary Francis Richardson is to be the new chief executive of the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority. The Government said an acting permanent secretary will take over Mr Richardson’s duties until an appointment is made. Mr Richardson, a former Merchant Navy marine engineer, said: “Having previously worked in the maritime industry for many years, I’m thrilled and excited to be coming back to an area I am passionate about. “I look forward to joining the team and working collectively to grow the Bermuda shipping registry and fulfil the objectives of the group.” Mr Richardson has served in a number of high-ranking government roles over 25 years. He will start his new job in April and will also sit on the new authority’s board of directors. BSMA chairman Paul Scope said: “Mr Richardson has all the credentials for the position and we’re delighted to have hired a Bermudian after an extensive search, both locally and overseas. Succession-planning was one of our top priorities, and we have now fulfilled this important goal.” The news means a further shake-up for the Civil Service. Derrick Binns is to step down as Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service as the job is to be split. Dr Binns will be Head of the Civil Service. A new Secretary to the Cabinet has yet to been named. A public works spokeswoman said yesterday: “The standard public service recruitment process will apply regarding the appointment of a permanent secretary for the Ministry of Public Works. It is expected that once Mr Richardson officially starts his post at the BSMA, an acting permanent secretary will assume the PS duties at the ministry until an official appointment is made.” BSMA was launched in 2016 as a semi-autonomous unit to replace the government Department of Maritime Administration. It employs a team of 15 professionals in London and Bermuda. Mr Richardson has held the posts of Dockyard superintendent, Director of Marine and Ports, and permanent secretary of the Ministry of Tourism Development and Transport, as well as permanent secretary at public works. He earlier spent more than eight years traveling the world as a marine engineer in the Merchant Navy. BSMA’s Captain Pat Nawaratne was acting CEO for the past 15 months since the unit’s launch. He will continue as BSMA’s chief maritime surveyor. Mr Scope said: “We’d also like to send our appreciation to the Bermuda Business Development Agency, which has worked closely with us during this period of transition to promote Bermuda’s shipping industry and our world-class shipping registry. The BDA has been representing Bermuda shipping with industry stakeholders throughout this period, and we look forward to now developing that presence overseas under the BSMA banner. Since coming out of government, and forming the authority, we’ve had numerous tasks to address, such as finding appropriate office premises, changing accounting systems, and handling other operational issues as we converted from a government department to a public-private entity. With the new leadership in place, we’re looking forward to moving forward and growing Bermuda’s all-important registry, as well as complying with all the regulatory standards and conventions that are required.”

2017. July 25. The Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority opens for business on Monday at its new offices on the fourth floor of Mintflower Place on Par-la-Ville Road. The quango was set up on October 1, 2016 to take over from the former Department of Maritime Administration — with its greater independence credited with boosting Bermuda’s shipping registry. The authority will move from Global House this Friday, and will be closed accordingly while the relocation takes place. A spokesman said that the BSMA’s existing main telephone number, 295-7251, will continue as usual, along with its fax number 295-3718 and cellular phone numbers.

Bermuda Small Business Development Corporation Bermuda Small Business Development Incorporation Act 1980. 
Bermuda Sports Anti Doping Agency  
Bermuda War Pensions Commissioners Pensions & Gratuities (War Service) Act 1947.
Bermuda Water Safety Council  
Bermuda World Heritage Site Management Committee 2019. January 15. The Bermuda World Heritage Site Management Committee is excited to welcome the community to an open consultation session to take place the evening of Wednesday January 23rd, at which the committee will seek public input for the 2020 to 2025 management plan for Bermuda’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bermuda World Heritage Site Management Committee is holding the session entitled ‘What Is Bermuda’s World Heritage Story?’ to involve the community early on in the planning process, which will be followed up throughout 2019 with additional public consultation phases. Participants at the January 23rd session will brainstorm together on the significance of ‘The Historic Town of St. George and Related Fortifications’ as an outstanding example of a “continuously occupied, fortified, colonial town dating from the early 17th century, and the oldest English town in the New World. Our Bermuda World Heritage Site has been designated by UNESCO as being important for all humankind,” said World Heritage Site Management Committee Chair Cheryl Hayward-Chew. “However, for this public consultation session, our committee wants to hear from Bermuda and particularly the St. George’s community, as to why and how our World Heritage Site is important for you and what story we can tell moving forward.” The Minister of Home Affairs The Hon. Walter Roban JP MP said, “The World Heritage Site Management Plan is a critical tool to maintain and utilize our UNESCO World Heritage status. It is important that our 2020-2025 plan for the World Heritage Site is co-created with the community. I, along with MPs for St. George’s and St. David’s, encourage you to attend this month’s session and engage with the other public consultation opportunities we will launch throughout 2019.” In the lead up to the January 23rd open consultation session, the Bermuda World Heritage Site Management Committee will be posting on social media to share information about Bermuda’s World Heritage status and to ask the community how and why the World Heritage Site is important to them using the hash tag #ourbermudaworldheritage. The session on January 23rd will be held at the World Heritage Centre at Penno’s Wharf in St. George’s starting at 5:30 p.m. with parking at Tiger Bay. For more information and to contribute to the management plan process, please see Facebook page “Town of St. George and its Related Fortifications World Heritage Site”. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Dr. Charlotte Andrews at ceandrews@gov.bm or 297-7756 to the open Facebook invite.

Betting - Building

Betting Licensing Authority Betting (Regulations & Tax) Act 1975. Bookmakers and gambling entities are regulated.
Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Working Group 2017. November 23. Bermuda is preparing a welcome mat for companies and innovators involved in blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. With a number of countries around the world jockeying for position in the hope of being among the lead jurisdictions for distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrencies — Bermuda is “moving quickly and aggressively” to lay out its stall. A task force comprising two teams has been created by the Bermuda Government to develop and put in place strategies for the island. And a self-governing cryptocurrency association is to be formed, which will have a code of conduct for Bermudian-based token issuers, including measures to ensure enhanced business transparency, and meet Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering requirements. Premier David Burt announced the initiatives yesterday and revealed that, following meetings in New York, a cryptocurrency trader is to establish a physical presence on the island. In addition, the Premier introduced Aron Dutta, recently senior partner of the Global Blockchain Centre of Competency at IBM, and a former head of thought leadership and strategy on fintech at Cisco. Mr Dutta is the founder of Vaphr Inc, which is involved in creating, funding and building business models that use technologies including blockchain, cryptology, and artificial intelligence. He is also founder of Ambika Group, which is in the process of incorporating its global blockchain platform in Bermuda. Mr Dutta said Bermuda has huge growth potential in the area of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Citing the island’s “robust compliance regime”, regulatory environment and legal system, he added: “In our assessment, Bermuda will become a centre for a technological and economic transformation especially in the areas of fintech, medtech, and edtech leveraging the potential of the country’s current and future human capital.” Possibly by as soon as January or February, the Government aims to have legislation in place to regulate firms operating in or from Bermuda that use digital ledger technologies “to store or transmit value belonging to others, such as virtual currency exchanges, coins and securitised tokens”. The task of creating a regulatory framework for DLT enterprises to set up and operate in or from Bermuda will be directed by Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, who has taken on responsibility for government’s ICT Policy and Innovation. The project task force has been split into two teams, one focused on business development, the other on legal and regulatory matters. Those involved in the task force include government technical officers, representatives from the Bermuda Business Development Agency, and legal and industry specialists in fintech. Mr Burt said: “The challenge will be in figuring out how Bermuda can set-up an industry that ensures cryptocurrencies are well-regulated, is a safe environment for cryptocurrency firms to grow, whilst also ensuring that this new regulatory environment protects both consumers and the reputation of the jurisdiction with specific attention being given the our anti-money laundering and antiterrorist financing obligations.” The Ministry of Finance and the Bermuda Monetary Authority are working on a document that will confirm that utility tokens are not a security as long as there is no promise of future value. “This will allow companies from all over the world to set up in Bermuda for crowd funding,” said Mr Burt. The taskforce’s legal and regulatory working group will also confirm that utility tokens are not prohibited or contravening any local legislation. Mr Burt said: “Bermuda is committed to building upon its position as an innovative international business centre and is considering a complementary regulatory framework covering the promotion and sale of utility tokens, aligned with the DLT framework. Bermuda is a significant option for blockchain and cryptocurrency-related businesses. We are expeditiously developing rules that ensure cryptocurrencies and related tokens are well-regulated, [that there] is a safe environment for those firms to grow, whilst also ensuring that this new regulatory environment protects both consumers and the reputation of the jurisdiction.” Bermuda is no stranger to the wider world of cryptocurrencies. At the beginning of this month the e-sports company Unikrn Bermuda Ltd launched its sports betting token Unikoin. And in 2007 Bermuda-headquartered Hub Culture launched Ven, the world’s first digital currency. Speaking in June, Stan Stalnaker, founder of Hub Culture, said: “Bermuda is an ideal location to lead the global trillion-dollar market for digital currency. Bermuda has a chance to be 100 times bigger than it is, financially. There is a race on to see which jurisdictions will dominate the largest new asset class in a generation.”

Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Working Group members

  • Michael Scott, JP, MP, former Minster of Telecommunications & E-Commerce
  • Kevin Anderson, Senior Analyst Policy, Legal Services and Enforcement – Bermuda Monetary Authority
  • Sean Moran, Business Development Manager – Bermuda Business Development Agency
  • Paula Tyndale, National Coordinator – National Anti-Money Laundering Committee
  • Sean Smatt, Head of Corporate Banking – Butterfield Bank
  • Chris Garrod, Director – Conyers Dill & Pearman
  • Stephen Gift, Assistant Financial Secretary – Ministry of Finance, Government of Bermuda
  • John Narroway, a veteran of the entrepreneurial and mobile technology scene in Bermuda, co-founder and Executive Vice President of Saker Aircraft, developing the world’s first personal supersonic jet.

Blockchain Business Development Working Group members:

  • Alec Cutler, Director – Orbis
  • Chris Garrod, Director – Conyers Dill & Pearman
  • Stuart Lacey, Founder and CEO – Trunomi
  • Stafford Lowe, Chief Administrative Officer – DrumG
  • Artie Darrell, President and CEO – Darrell International.
Board of Agriculture Agriculture Act 1930.
Board of Chiropodists Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973.
Board of Dieticians Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973. 
Board of Education Education Act 1996.
Board of Immigration Bermuda Immigration & Protection Act 1956.
Board of Medical Laboratory Technologists Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973. Includes nominees from practicing Medical Laboratory Technologists.
Board of Occupational Therapists Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973. 
Board of Physiotherapists Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973.
Board of Radiographers Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973. 
Board of Speech Therapists Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973. 
Board of Trustees of the Golf Courses The Golf Courses (Consolidation) Act 1998. 
Board of Works & Engineering Public Works Department Act 1984. 
Boundaries Commission Must follow Section 54 of the Bermuda Constitution and is required to look at all submissions as soon as practical. The Commission must also review the boundaries and constituencies into which Bermuda is divided and submit opinions to the House of Assembly on whether the changes are required or not.
Broadcasting Commissioners Broadcasting Commissioners Act 1953.
Building Appeals Tribunal The Building Act 1988. 


Cedarbridge Academy Board of Governors Education Act 1996. 
Charity Commissioners Charities Act 1978. The statutory board which decides on applications for charitable status. A government board with a chairperson picked by the government. Applications for status renewal are considered by the Charity Commissioners and they make recommendations to the Registrar General, who makes the final decision.
Child Care Placement Board Children Act 1998. 
Citizens Forum 2018. October 25. A new online Citizens’ Forum was launched today. The Government platform was set up to canvass public views on its proposed policies, Lovitta Foggo, government reform minister, said: “One of the fundamental aims of this Government is to ensure that the people of Bermuda have their say on the matters that affect them. It’s been said that a healthy, functioning democracy is one that provides its people with an opportunity to freely voice their opinion, and one that holds elected officials accountable for delivering on their promises.” Ms Foggo said that previous Governments had brought forward legislation in some cases that had not been subject to proper consultation with the public. She added: “So, it was the goal of this government to create a mechanism whereby the people of Bermuda could have their say in matters of importance to them. Stakeholder consultation is an invaluable component not only in ensuring a strong democracy but in the policy development process. Ms Foggo added: “Input from the wider community is critical for an accurate assessment of the feasibility of policy proposals and will help identify which aspects of a policy will be most strongly supported or opposed. Public feedback is a necessary part of the process and may lead to the refinement of policy options. This Government committed to good governance and good government. The introduction of the Citizens Forum is a tangible example of good government — one that is applying best practice to public policy development.” Ms Foggo said using the site would be “simple and easy” and when people access the page they will see a list of proposed policies and an explanation. Users will have to create an account using an e-mail address or linking the page to their Facebook or Google profile before they can see full details of policies and offer comment. Ms Foggo said: “With the launch of the Bermuda Government’s Citizens Forum we have delivered on our promise to produce a digital tool to engage our community so that they have a role in shaping our democracy.” The forum can be found at www.gov.bm.
Clubs Committee Looks into the state of Bermuda's working man/women and other clubs
Commission of Enquiry Formed after concerns were raised by the Auditor-General over the handling of taxpayers’ money in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The Commission is chaired by international jurist and former Bermuda Court of Appeal judge Sir Anthony Evans. Its members are lawyer and former MP the Honourable John Barritt, businesswoman Fiona Luck and businessman Kumi Bradshaw. More information about the Commission is available at www.inquirybermuda.com.
Commission for Unity and Racial Equality (CURE) Commission for Unity & Racial Equality Act 1974. Melbourne House, Suite 202. 11 Parliament Street, Hamilton HM KX. Phone 296-0613 or fax 296-9142 or e-mail cure@ibl.bm
Constituency Boundaries Commission Appointed on 5 November 2001 by the Governor under the Constitution of Bermuda. They had their first meeting on December 3, 2001.
Consumer Affairs Board Ministry of Community Affairs and Sport. 
Consultative Immigration Reform Working Group The group, which will examine the issue of immigration policy, was appointed after a week of protests outside Parliament sparked by the controversial Pathways to Status legislation. The first meeting will focus on the topic of children adopted from overseas by Bermudians and the rights and privileges that should be extended to them. It will take place on Thursday between 6pm and 8pm at the Bermuda Public Services Union headquarters. The working group has said that it plans to have its policy on the issue formulated by June 10 after consulting with stakeholders. Anyone unable to attend the meeting can make submissions through the group’s drop-box located on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building on Parliament Street, by calling 500-4664 or by e-mailing immigationbda@gmail.com. The Consultative Immigration Reform Working Group was set up to review and propose amendments to the Bermuda Immigration Act in 2016. The group was created in the wake of protests sparked by the Pathways to Status immigration proposals by the former One Bermuda Alliance government. The working group released a report in November 2017 after 18 months of discussion and public consultations designed to help lay out guiding principles for new immigration policies covering mixed-status families, permanent resident’s certificates and Bermuda status. Walton Brown, the Minister of Home Affairs, was to examine the report alongside a bipartisan committee on immigration reform. Mr Brown said at the time that he hoped new legislation would be brought to Parliament as early as February.
Contributory Pensions Appeal Tribunal Contributory Pensions Act 1970. 
Cost of Living Commission Price Commission Act 1974. See Bermuda Government Boards.  

2017. December 11. Importers of food and other goods will face fines of up to $5,000 if they fail to provide information to a new commission examining their costs and margins. The Cost of Living Commission, renamed from the Price Commission, will be established by legislation which passed through the House of Assembly in the early hours of Saturday. David Burt described the Cost of Living Amendment Act as “the first step in tackling the cost of living in order to improve the quality of life that this Government promised voters at the last General Election”. The Premier and Minister of Finance added: “The number one concern we have on the doorstep clearly that I know that we all hear is the cost of living in Bermuda and how expensive it is to live in Bermuda. We do know that this is the most expensive country in the world to live in, as is given by international surveys and any government has a responsibility to tackle this issue. Of course, we are looking at it from both sides, looking at it from this side and we are also looking at it from the living-wage side.” Mr Burt said the Government had no intention of controlling prices and that the commission would focus on getting information from importers of food and other goods about their import cost and margins. He added: “The commission intends to then process this information, and submit various reports containing its recommendations to the minister on approaches to contain the cost of certain goods.” The Bill paves the way for higher fines for those who do not comply with information requests from the commission. Mr Burt said the penalty would increase from $500 to $5,000, with an additional daily fine of $500 in the case of non-compliance. Mr Burt added that Senator Anthony Richardson, who served on the last Price Control Commission, would chair the new commission and that they would get to work as soon as the Bill had passed. One Bermuda Alliance leader Jeanne Atherden said the change was a “very good idea”. She hoped the commission could look at the cost of pharmaceutical drugs, which “had played a very significant part of the expenditure of the Bermuda resident”. Progressive Labour Party backbencher Rolfe Commissiong was happy the Premier and the PLP government had moved in this direction. But he said that the Bill was “just one piece” and pointed to the work on the living wage and the Tax Commission, which is looking at comprehensive tax reform. Mr Commissiong added: “I think we all want to see us move from a status quo which is no longer serving Bermudians, at least not enough Bermudians, to an era where we can have a greater degree of social equilibrium and bring those persons who need the most help in society, to a point where we can again foster a greater degree of social cohesion and social harmony.” Grant Gibbons, the shadow economic development minister, said the change was “nothing new under the sun”, with the Cost of Living Commission mirroring the original purpose of the Price Commission, set up under the former United Bermuda Party administration.

2017. November 30. Premier David Burt tabled amendments to the Price Commission Act last Friday to change the body’s name to the Cost of Living Commission and increase the fines it can hand out. 

  • Amendments to the Price Commission Act would give the commission greater teeth — and a new name. The Price Commission Amendment Act, tabled in the House of Assembly on Friday, would increase the cost of fines included in the 1974 Act tenfold. Under the legislation, businesses can be ordered to provide the commission with information and documentation, along with keeping specified records. According to the 1974 Act, businesses who fail to comply to such a notice could face a $500 fine. However, if the amendment is approved, the maximum fine would be increased to $5,000, with a default further $500 fine every day that the noncompliance continues. The amendment similarly increases the fine for anyone who refuses to give evidence under oath to the commission upon request. The original Act however adds that a person will not be punished for refusing to answer any question or provide any document which he would not be required to answer or produce before a court in Bermuda. The amendment would also change the name of the commission to the Cost of Living Commission. The explanatory memorandum says: “The change in the title of the Act and the title of the commission is necessitated by the fact that matters of price control are to a greater extent now being dealt with by the Regulatory Authority. The commission’s main objective is now focused on matters of cost of living.” The memorandum also says that an updated to the fines included in the Act is overdue, as they have not been changed in more than 40 years.

2013. October 1.  The Price Control Commission has yet to meet six months after being re-appointed by the present government from the previous government. The Commission was established to protect consumers from unwarranted rate increases on essential goods and services, but Finance Minister Bob Richards said Government was using other committees and commissions to tackle the high cost of living. He said the cost of electricity is under the remit of the Energy Commission, the issue of healthcare is being dealt with by the Ministry of Health and a separate Committee under the Ministry of Home Affairs is looking into the cost of food. “Those are the three basic elements. They are not being dealt with under the Price Control Commission, but they are certainly being dealt with in broader government,” he said. “This Government is a firm believer that free markets are the most efficient and cost effective way of delivering goods and services. Government doesn’t fix prices. Government price fixing doesn’t work. There’s an old saying in economics that you can fix the price of something and you can fix the supply of something, but you can’t fix both at the same time. If the government wants to fix the price of a loaf of bread they can do so, but they can’t force someone to bring it in and sell it at that price.” He said the best the Government could do is ensure there is a competitive market, and in cases where there may be a monopoly, ensure that there is a regulatory system in place to monitor them. Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said the Opposition does not support price fixing, but the Government had promised to meet with retailers when cutting the salaries of public sector workers, asking what success Government has had. Mr Richards responded that it was a “work in progress.” Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley, speaking for the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that both he and Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy have been involved in talks with the Island’s grocers, but due to the sensitive nature of talks he was not able to make a statement to the House. “The leading grocers are meeting among themselves, and once they look at the potential options, they will revert to the Government." Asked by Shadow Minister of Economic Development Glenn Blakeney about it there had been talks with the Island’s wholesalers, Mr Dunkley said it was up to the grocers to get the wholesalers involved in the conversation. The Minister noted that the previous administration had attempted to work with the wholesalers in 2011, but nothing came of it. Economic Development Minister Grant Gibbons meanwhile said Government has had several meetings with Belco about energy costs. “Earlier this year, under this administration, the Ministry of Economic Development authorized the Energy Commission to undertake a review of the fuel adjustment rate being applied by Belco,” Dr Gibbons said. “We are in the process of analyzing the findings of that review and are discussing them with Belco.” Dr Gibbons said the Government has formed a consultation committee, the Bermuda Energy Working Group, which is collaborating with Belco and Government on several projects, including equitable interconnection agreements in order to reduce reliance on the energy company and lower prices. “There are several other initiatives we are working on, each with an aim to lower the average fuel bill, and I will make a statement when I am ready to report,” he said. Mr Burt however said that Dr Gibbons’ statement brought little comfort, saying his constituents had seen their fuel adjustment rates increase by 15 percent between January and September, and Government has announced a new tax that would further increase costs. Dr Gibbons said the last base rate was set under the previous administration, the fuel adjustment rate is based on the cost of fuel purchased by Belco.

Commission, set up in 2011, has specific terms-of-reference which include:

To look into the price of food on the Island to ensure consumers are protected from “unwarranted increases’ the Premier announced. In her budget brief for the Ministry of Finance in March 2011, she made the following statement: ‘Recently, the prices of food staples in global commodity markets have risen in worrying leaps. The Ministry of Finance has considered the implications for Bermuda and the policy options available to Government. Given that Bermuda imports substantial proportions of the food consumed on Island, we are in the position of ‘price takers’. In these circumstances, a regime of price controls could have unintended consequences including the disruption of supply lines. Accordingly, Government will use the powers of enquiry available under the Price Commission Act 1974 to obtain information from food importers about their import costs and margins to ensure that consumers are protected from unwarranted price increases. Indeed, subsequent to this statement, both the Bermuda Public Services Union and the Bermuda Industrial Union have publicly echoed my own concerns. The Price Control Commission has been empanelled and gazetted. 

1. Obtaining the relevant economic data from the Department of Statistics to identify the essential goods and services that should be the focus of the enquiry;

2. Inviting interest groups, consumers and individual Bermudians, who wish to provide data, statistics and other information, to make submissions to the Commission;

3. Inviting input from wholesalers; supermarkets; convenience stores, discount stores, other businesses and services that provide essential goods and services;

4. Consulting with the various unions including: the Bermuda Trade Union Congress, the Bermuda Industrial Union, the Bermuda Public Services Union, the Fire Services Union, Bermuda Union of Teachers, the Prison Officers Union, etc;

5. Consulting with the Bermuda Small Business Development Corporation, and employer groups including the Chamber of Commerce, Bermuda Employers Council, etc;

6. Obtaining information from shipping companies and other importers regarding the current cost of shipping, both air and freight;

7. Producing a report for the Minister recommending how Government can assist in ensuring that consumers can get the most reasonable price for essential goods and services.

This will be a collaborative team effort between Government, suppliers, retailers and consumers.

Court Commissioners Mental Health Act 1968. 
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) Criminal Injuries (Compensation Act) 1973.  Not sympathetic to tourists and visitors. For example, on July 3, 1996, when 17 year-old Canadian visitor Rebecca Middleton was sodomized, repeatedly raped and murdered in Bermuda at Ferry Reach, a claim by her parents for compensation was later denied, to Canadian outrage.

2019. September 23. Victims of violent crime are finally getting their claims for compensation heard by a government board which has been criticized for its “serious backlog” of cases. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board met on September 11 when members heard applications and approved financial awards for a number of victims, The Royal Gazette understands. Another hearing is set to take place this Wednesday, when more applications for compensation will be dealt with. But one man, who was shot and injured in 2014 and has been waiting for a decision on compensation since he applied for an award in 2015, pledged this week to pursue a civil claim for damages against the board and the Government over the delay in handling his case. The 26-year-old, who has suffered severe leg and back pain and depression since the attack, said: “It’s been such a long time. I have been struggling financially for so long. I have lifetime injuries because of it. The job I had before I got shot was a good paying job. Now I’m struggling with a job that doesn’t pay that much and they are trying to let me go from that because I’m not capable of doing certain things.” The man, who asked to remain anonymous, added: “The delay makes it harder. I have a child that I need to support.” His lawyer, Vaughan Caines, wrote to the Government on August 23 to say he’d been instructed to “issue proceedings seeking constitutional relief, inclusive of damages” against the board and “by extension, the Government”. Mr Caines wrote that his client’s constitutional right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time had been breached. He claimed the CICB had “failed to act on an embarrassment of applications for a number of years. Specifically, in [this] case, four years have passed since his application was first launched with the board.” The man’s compensation claim is now due to be heard at the CICB hearing on Wednesday and Mr Caines is expected to attend to make representations regarding the amount of any award. Separately, legal proceedings are expected to be filed in the Supreme Court if a settlement is not reached regarding the constitutional claim. Mr Caines wrote in a letter dated September 3: “That [the victim] has had to wait at least four years for his matter to be heard is bordering on unconscionable.” The Royal Gazette revealed last October that victims of crime were having to wait years for their compensation claims to be processed, prompting the Ombudsman to launch an investigation into possible maladministration. A Court of Appeal judgment the following month said it appeared the CICB had no “plan for disposing of the serious backlog” of compensation claims. The panel of judges criticized the board, chaired by Puisne Judge Nicole Stoneham, for failing to provide the court with enough detail on whether most cases were dealt with in a timely fashion. It noted it was the responsibility of the Attorney-General to ensure the CICB was “properly funded with adequate administrative support” to enable it to fulfil its statutory duty. The court heard there were 37 outstanding applications from those who had lost a loved one or been injured themselves because of a violent crime. Annual reports for the CICB do not appear to have been tabled in Parliament since 2015. It met only once in 2018, when it did not consider any cases. According to this year’s Government Budget book, $170,000 was spent on criminal injuries in the financial year 2017-18 and $325,000 was set to be spent in 2018-19. A further $380,000 was allocated for criminal injuries in this year’s budget. Questions to the Government about the spending received no answers earlier this year. A request for comment for this article from Mrs Justice Stoneham and Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General, went unanswered by press time.

2018. October 15. Victims of crime who seek criminal injuries compensation may have to wait years for their claims to be processed, The Royal Gazette can reveal. The lawyer for a man shot four years ago said she was told by the Supreme Court last week that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board was “severely backlogged” and that his case had yet to be dealt with. Cristen Suess, of law firm Wakefield Quin, said she had chased the man’s claim for three years. She added: “Since submitting the application in 2015, we have contacted the administrator for the CICB, via the Supreme Court Registry, on at least 15 separate occasions to follow up on when his matter was due to be heard. We were advised by the court that due to various issues with staffing and budget restraints that his application has not yet been processed. Indeed, we spoke with the court on October 8 and were advised that the CICB was severely backlogged as a result of undergoing significant internal transitions and that we would be hearing from them shortly.” The CICB, funded with public money, does not appear to have released an annual report for years and the number of backlogged cases is not known. Neither Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General, who is responsible for the CICB, nor the board responded to a request for comment. Ms Suess’s client, who asked not to be named, worked in construction before he was attacked and now faces a financial struggle. The 26-year-old said: “It has affected me from working, being that I have nerve damage. It has caused me an excruciating amount of pain. I can’t really do much. I’m not even able to play football any more.” The father of one, who now lives in England, was attacked at a sports club by a man who was never convicted of the crime. The man said: “It was a very frightening thing to go through. I went up to the porch to give somebody something and somebody started shooting. I have permanent injuries. From my left hip down to my knee, I have nerve damage. My spine was less than a half-inch away from being severed.” The victim added he was frustrated by the failure to get his case heard. He said he planned to pay his legal bill out of any compensation payment. Gina Spence, a community activist, said she was aware of another case involving a shooting victim who applied for compensation last year but had yet to receive anything. Ms Spence added: “It’s really, really bad. They are on that long waiting list of people who are in dire need of help. The need is now. The impact on those that survive these incidents is immediate. The minute you are picked up and put in an ambulance, that’s when the dollars start. Many of these victims don’t have insurance and they face astronomical health bills.” Ms Spence said that the CICB needed an overhaul as laws to govern its operations were passed long before gun violence became a serious problem. She added: “It was never designed for this magnitude of incidents.” Scott Pearman, the Opposition spokesman on legal affairs, said: “Delays with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board are particularly unfortunate because the injured who are seeking aid are victims of crime — sometimes people who suffered injuries trying to prevent crimes.” He added that Bermuda had more than 30 tribunals and boards with people often confused about which to go to and that the system could be streamlined by bringing them all under one roof. Mr Pearman said: “Bermuda would benefit from a single tribunal system — allowing Bermudians to have claims and appeals addressed in one place, with one support system to consolidate, simplify, and expedite the many different procedures that exist now.” Victims of crime can apply to the CICB for compensation on several grounds, including coverage for expenses caused as a result of their injuries and for financial loss owing to a total or partial inability to work. The maximum payout for a claimant is $100,000. The board was given a $325,000 budget last year and paid out $138,388 in total to claimants. Government figures show that the number of claims made to the board has declined in recent years. There were 16 claims recorded in the 2017-18 financial year, with 13 processed, compared to 26 claims in 2016, with 19 concluded. In 2015, the year Ms Suess’s client lodged his application, there were 39 applications with 18 processed. The average time for processing claims was not given. There were 70 claims for compensation in 2008-09, when the average time to process an application was 15 months. The compensation board, appointed by the Governor this year, is headed by chairman Nicole Stoneham, a Puisne Judge, and deputy chairman Michael Scott, a government MP and former attorney-general. The other members are doctors Panagal Chelvam and Kyjuan Brown, and lawyers Tawanna Tannock and Paul Wilson. The previous board met only twice last year.

2018. April 16. Community activist Gina Spence has called for a review of the island’s criminal injury compensation system. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board’s budget has been slashed from $500,000 to $325,000 since 2007 — but Ms Spence said the need for assistance remains high. Ms Spence added: “It needs to be reviewed, revised and really looked at.” But she said: “To be fair to the Government, when it was first put together it wasn’t designed to be doing what it is doing now. It really wasn’t. A lot has changed.” Ms Spence added that the impact of violent crime went beyond the injury itself as families lost income and ran up massive medical bills. She said keeping a family member on life support can cost thousands of dollars every day which caused a huge financial burden even if an injured person lived. Ms Spence added: “Can you imagine if someone is kept on life support for a week? Someone has to sign to be responsible for that bill. There are people who don’t have much insurance, so people find themselves going to court for unpaid bills. All because some one else hurt them or their loved ones.” Ms Spence said that victims of violent crime and their families could also face other problems. She explained: “In some shootings nurses may not be willing to go to a person’s house because of safety issues and things like that, so family members have to take care of the dressing and treatment.” She praised the work of organisations like the Lady Cubbit Compassionate Association for their contributions and said the charity has helped a number of families get life-saving treatment they might otherwise have been unable to afford. Ms Spence added: “It’s a really, really huge issue in this country especially for the working-class people who have little or no insurance. Just the funeral for someone who died can cost a family more than $10,000. And if that person was a breadwinner or a contributor to the household, then the impact is just going to continue on and on because the bills are going to remain the same. I have known families who are not even able to pay for the funeral.” The budget for the CICB has risen from $300,000 to $325,000 since financial year 2016/17, but is still far below the $500,000 budgeted for 2017/18. Awards remain capped at $100,000, but the average payout has fallen from just over $75,000 in 2007/8 to $10,645 in 2017/18. The level of awards was highlighted by the Court of Appeal in two judgments last month. The court found the CICB had taken medical expenses out of awards to the applicant and had not properly explained the reasoning for their decisions. The applicants in both cases said they were $200,000 out of pocket for medical expenses, loss of income and pain and suffering, but received less than $40,000. Appeal Court Judge Geoffrey Bell wrote: “No doubt the reason for steps such as the deduction of medical expenses from awards for pain and suffering stems from an understandable desire to stay within budgetary constraints. But it does seem to me that when it comes to reimbursing a medical practitioner or a hospital for medical expenses actually and reasonably incurred as a result of the victim’s injury, those setting budgetary limits need to decide whether the board should operate as an expression of society’s sympathy and compassion for the harm done to the victim or not.” 

Cyber Tips Government-founded island online safety group warning youngsters about the dangers of cyber-bullying and more.


Defence Board Section 6, Defence Act 1965. 
Defence Exemption Tribunal Defence Act 1965. 
Defence Medical Board Defence Act 1965. 
Development Applications Board Development & Planning Act 1974.

E-Commerce Advisory Board No legislation specified. 
Economic Development Committee (EDC) 2013 Bermuda Government initiative intended to cut down on the bureaucracy and move projects forward faster. Its mandate is to compress the time taken to obtain the necessary approvals for direct inward investment into Bermuda. Unwelcoming and bureaucratic procedures in the years prior to 2012 reduced the flow of inward direct investment to virtually a trickle.
Efficiency Committee 2019. July 8. MPs agreed the Government’s performance had to be improved as they debated the findings of a bipartisan Efficiency Committee on Friday. But the two sides clashed on the $122,000 paid to members of the committee, which the Opposition said should have been declared at the start of its work. Wayne Furbert, the committee chairman, told the House the committee had recouped $12 million and found $354,972.90 of uncashed cheques in a desk at the Office of the Tax Commissioner. He said $315,579.77 of those funds had been recovered by May. Mr Furbert said: “Most of the cheques sitting in drawers were made by law firms for clients. They are supposed to keep [the money for] their cheques in a trust account so they could not tell us they didn’t have the money. That’s why we were able to collect most of that money quite quickly.” He also told the House that the tax commissioner’s office had an $8 million backlog in stamp duty. Mr Furbert said that a lack of staff had presented the office with challenges, but by filling vacant spaces the Government was able to recover more than $3 million in old debt. He said there remained an issue with companies — particularly construction companies — who had not paid their payroll tax. Mr Furbert said: “One particular construction company owes $1.9 million. The courts ordered that they pay $500 per month. It would take 360-some years for them, their children, their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren if they were liable to pay for it.” He told the House that the Government’s complicated approach to alien licences — required for non-Bermudians to buy land — had potentially cost the Government millions because potential buyers became frustrated. Mr Furbert added that efficiency improvements had to be a continuous process. “It’s not about trying to blame one particular government or minister or individual. Efficiency can be improved overall from time to time. The things we put in place for efficiency will one day become inefficient because things change. It’s important that we all continually look at improvements. There is still a lot more to be done.” Craig Cannonier, the Opposition leader, said the Government needed to find ways to improve communication between departments. He said that performance appraisals were not carried out in some areas of departments and more training was needed — particularly in the area of those who make purchases. Mr Cannonier said that as a minister he discovered parts in storage that had been ordered by mistake and were completely unusable. He said: “We couldn’t put them in anything in Bermuda. How we wound up with them, I have no idea. I was shocked. I have no idea if it started under the UBP or the PLP. All I know is it’s a problem and we need to get right on to these things.” However, he and several other OBA MPs challenged payments issued to Mr Furbert for his work on the committee and claimed it had not been declared at first. Mr Cannonier said: “The scrutiny on the minister was because he hadn’t declared it. When it was declared, we found out it was even more money than was initially said. A number of $60,000 was put out at the time — not by himself — but it came out in Parliamentary Questions when you looked at the dates, the period of time was longer than was stated and it was more than was anticipated.” But Derrick Burgess, the Deputy Speaker, said the cost of the committee was “money well spent”. He also suggested the Auditor-General take a look at the Office of the Tax Commissioner after the discovery of the uncashed cheques because such a thing should never have happened. Mr Burgess said: “That office has got to be very proficient. We are talking about government money. This is something that is not acceptable. If this was a private company the entire department would be let go, along with the CEO.” Mr Burgess also said that overtime across the Government needed to be monitored. He told the House: “Some people know how to create their own overtime. A lot of department heads in government are not managing the way they should and they need to pick it up.”
Employment Tribunal Section 35 and Schedule, Employment Act 2000. 
Energy Commission Since November 2009. The mission is to assist in the development and maintenance of affordable, clean and sustainable energy, for the economic, social and environmental well-being of residents and businesses in Bermuda. As required by the Energy Act 2009, appointed by the Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and E-Commerce in November 2009. The Commission consists of a chairman and four other members, though an additional member may be appointed to assist in an inquiry by the Commission if their expertise/experience is required. Members are appointed for a period of three years. Meets twice a month and primary duties are to:
  • Review, and subsequently approve or disallow variations to the price or charge for electrical power submitted to the Commission by a specified businesses;
  • Set out the terms and conditions under which a specified business may make a variation to the price or charge for electrical power;
  • Conduct inquiries into the price or charge made for any energy-related commodity;
  • Conduct inquiries into other matters concerning the cost or supply of any energy-related commodity;
  • Conduct inquiries into any matter which may affect the exercise of the Minister's powers under the Energy Act 2009; and
  • Advise the Minister in the discharge of the Minister's functions under the Energy Act 2009.

It does not release its annual reports to the public — nor does it have to. The Energy Act requires only that it provides the relevant Minister with a report on its activities, not taxpayers. Visit www.energy.gov.bm for more information on the Commission and the Department of Energy.

Environmental Authority Clean Air Act 1991. 
Environmental Heath Unit Unit of the Department of Health, In July 2019 it reluctantly shared a document of more than 1,200 pages, covering nurseries, daycare centres, preschools and at-home daycare providers.
Essential Industries Disputes Board Labour Relations Act 1975. 
External Affairs Strategic Planning Committee  Formed in 2015. At that time, members of the committee were Derrick Binns, Paul Scope, Pamela Burrows, Cheryl Lister, Karla Lacey, Jeremy Cox, Ross Webber, Richard Winchell, Leila Madeiros and Travis Gilbert. The committee reported to Cabinet.

Fair Political Practices Commission 2017. September 29. The outgoing executive director of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission has been cleared after an investigation into his travel expenses when he worked as a gambling commissioner in California. The Fair Political Practices Commission closed the case against Richard Schuetz with no further action after an inquiry found no evidence of any wrongdoing. The FPPC said: “The payments that were not reported for travel to various conferences either fell into the category of self-funded, not attended or paid for by the State of California. There was no evidence that the reported payments violated the rules because in each case there was an applicable exception. Therefore, we are closing the matter.”
Financial Assistance Board Financial Assistance Act 2001.
Financial Assistance Working Group. 2017. November 15. The massive $1-million-a-week cost of financial assistance will be tackled by a new working group unveiled this morning. Zane DeSilva, Minister of Social Development and Sport, said that the current cost of the programme was unsustainable and “must be reduced”. Mr DeSilva said the 12-strong group would “aggressively” look at reforming the current programme. He said: “When we’re spending $1 million a week on financial assistance, we can’t do it fast enough.” The programme — excluding the child daycare allowance awards — cost Government more than $4 million last month. Mr DeSilva said the new Financial Assistance Working Group would meet formally for the first time tomorrow. He added: “We want to produce those recommendations for Cabinet as soon as we possibly can.” The group includes Dianna Taylor, former director of financial assistance, One Bermuda Alliance MP Susan Jackson, Progressive Labour Party MPs Tinee Furbert and Michael Weeks, and PLP senator Jason Hayward. Wayne Carey, permanent secretary, will serve as chairman. Mr DeSilva said the team had a “very good cross-section of people that I think will lend their views in a very positive way”. The minister said the number of people on financial assistance has nearly doubled in the last six years. He added: “The trends of increasing numbers of clients and high cost of financial assistance are not sustainable and must be reduced. “Bermuda has an ageing population, and the Financial Assistance Reform Group shall also assess the extent to which the ageing population could result in increasing numbers of seniors on financial assistance, and to make recommendations going forward.” Mr DeSilva said in September that the Government along with corporate Bermuda would fund education upgrades to able-bodied unemployed persons in an effort to reintegrate them into the workforce. Mr DeSilva said today that discussions with representatives from the private sector had “been positive.  As soon as I was appointed minister, I had those conversations.” The minister said he and his permanent secretary planned to meet with many of the people on financial assistance “within the next couple of weeks”. Mr DeSilva stood by comments made in September that there was a “culture of entitlement” among “too many” of those helped by financial assistance. He added: “I can only draw on the experiences that I’ve had personally, and some of those experiences are from folks that express themselves in that manner. We just can’t be going that way.”
Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) Since 2007. Under the Financial Intelligence Agency Amendment Act 2008 and Act. Assists in rooting out money laundering or terrorism financing in Bermuda, with a remit limited to banks and deposit companies. Has summary powers to put a temporary freeze on bank accounts and order documentation checks if it receives a report of suspicion regarding money laundering or terrorism financing within the financial sector. The independent quango reports directly to the Minister of Justice and acts as a “buffer” between financial institutions and the Police service’s Financial Investigations Unit. When the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Bermuda in 2003 it identified deficiencies in the area of identifying the proceeds of crime and the financing of terrorism. In July 2008 it was announced the number of people in the FIA will increase as part of new legislation aimed at combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The number of non-executive members will increase from three to six. They will be joined by a chairman and director. The new legislation follows a recent review that showed Bermuda was failing to comply with 29 international recommendations on anti-money laundering and fighting the financing of terrorism. The corresponding figures for the Bahamas and Cayman respectively are six and two.

suspicious financial activity compared year by year2018. August 15. Financial activity in Bermuda worth a combined total of more than half a billion dollars was flagged up as suspicious during a 12-month period. The island’s Financial Intelligence Agency received 494 suspicious activity reports between April 2016 and the end of March last year. That was up 12 per cent on the previous reporting period. Of the 10,363 separate transactions contained in those reports, with a collective value of $564,249,836, some 40 were in excess of a million dollars. Once the reports had been analyzed and reviewed by the FAI to assess whether the suspicious activity was as it appeared, 371 of the reports were ultimately included in 97 disclosures of classified information and intelligence to partner agencies, with 85 being disclosed locally — the majority to the Bermuda Police Service. The other 12 were disclosed to overseas agencies. While the number of suspicious activity reports increased for a second consecutive year, and was the second highest recorded since the FAI was formed in 2008, the agency said it was pleased. “This can be attributed to the continued training and presentations provided by the FIA, which has assisted in improved suspicious activity report filings.” The agency noted: “Due to the training and presentations given to new entities, different sectors started to identify suspicions activity within their businesses and filed SARs accordingly. It was evident from the presentations given that many sectors were hesitant to file as they did not have an understanding of money laundering or the role of the FIA.” The data is contained in the agency’s 2016-17 annual report, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday. It provides a snapshot of the independent agency’s work to receive, gather, store, analyze and disseminate information relating to suspected proceeds of crime and potential financing of terrorism. Suspected fraud totaling almost $395 million was referenced in 49 of the reports, affecting eight sectors, namely banks and credit unions, fund administration, insurance companies, investment service providers, and long term insurer services. Meanwhile, suspected corruption to a combined total of $71.5 million was featured in 23 reports. The most reported suspicious activity is cash exchanges of Bermudian currency to a foreign denomination — usually US dollars. In the one-year period, suspicious cash exchanges at banks totaled $22.1 million, in 8,322 separate transactions. There was also $419,713 worth of suspicious wire transfers. Money laundering, and money laundering/cash exchanges made up the largest number of SAR reporting indicators, followed by corruption and fraud. Other indicters included tax offences, insider trading, sanctions and terrorist financing. SAR filings in the money service business more than doubled to 155, while in the banking sector they fell from 295 to 246. Separate to the 12 spontaneous disclosures made by the FAI to foreign partners, there were 30 requests for information from foreign financial intelligence units in 16 countries. Nepal and Bangladesh made the most requests at five apiece. The other countries that made multiple requests were the UK, US and France. With Bermuda’s financial sector regulated, and designated non-financial businesses and professions such as real estate agents, lawyers, accountants and corporate service providers, also regulated or in the process of having anti-money laundering and antiterrorist financing oversight regimes implemented, the island has now put a focus on so-called “high value dealers”. Particular emphasis has been placed on car, boat and motorcycle dealers, jewelers, precious metal and stone dealers, and auctioneers. Following consultation and legislation, a supervisory framework is in place that gives entities considered high value dealers to organize their operations to obviate the need for them to be registered and subject to supervision by the FIA. The FIA’s supervision is focused on those businesses that wish to be able to accept cash payments of $7,500 or higher in a single or series of transactions. Sinclair White, director the Financial Intelligence Agency, in an introduction to the annual report referenced preparations for the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s upcoming mutual evaluation of Bermuda. He said the agency has been playing a pivotal role as the island prepares for the evaluation. It has participated in a number of National Anti-Money Laundering Committee working groups. Mr White has been providing weekly updates to Cabinet on the agency’s preparedness for the review.

Financial Investigations Unit (FIU) Operated by the Bermuda Police, not be confused with the above. 
Financial Policy Council (FPC) Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister, chairs the FPC. He is joined on the council by deputy chair Sir Andrew Large, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, and now an adviser to central banks and governments; Jeremy Cox, the BMA executive chairman; Michael Butt, chairman of Axis Capital Holdings Ltd; businesswoman Dame Amelia Fawcett, who is also a non-executive member of Her Majesty’s Treasury Board; chartered accountant Gil Tucker, former Bermuda managing partner at Ernst & Young, and now on the board of HSBC Bermuda; and DeLisle Worrell, former governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, and now a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. Dr Worrell also worked with the International Monetary Fund, focusing on monetary policy, financial stability and stress testing.

2019. October 16. It was announced today that on 25th July 2019, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) hosted the tenth meeting of the Financial Policy Council (Council) at its offices in Hamilton, Bermuda. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Finance, the Hon. Curtis Dickinson JP, MP. The role of the Council is to assess possible threats to Bermuda’s financial stability, and to identify policies and actions to mitigate or eliminate such threats. It also advises the Government on the development of the financial stability framework in Bermuda, and makes policy recommendations designed to support the general economic and financial well-being of the country. Members of the Council are the Minister of Finance the Hon. Curtis Dickinson (chair), Sir Andrew Large (deputy chair), BMA Executive Chairman Jeremy Cox, Michael Butt, Dame Amelia Fawcett, Gil Tucker and Dr. DeLisle Worrell. At their meeting of 25th July, Council members discussed recent international and domestic economic developments and assessed the impact these might have on Bermuda’s financial stability. Council members raised concern that, globally, not enough attention has been given to risk from distorted asset pricing, especially for entities outside the banking sector. Members stressed the importance for Bermuda to continue closely monitoring this risk and to assess its potential impact to Bermuda. Mr. Phil Butterfield, Chair of the Bermuda First Advisory Group, gave a presentation on the objectives, structure and scope of work of Bermuda First. The Council and Bermuda First will look for areas for continuing cooperation. Members were provided with an update on the actions that the Minister of Finance was taking with regard to economic substance to ensure Bermuda addresses the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s requirements and to remain competitive with other peer jurisdictions. Members noted that the progress being made on this matter was positive and applauded the government’s efforts on this. Members noted that the task will now be to get Bermuda off the grey list and to continue engaging with the international community to manage any emerging threats. Members examined the current state of the banking sector in Bermuda, including the critical functions it performs, challenges the banking sector may face in providing services to existing and new sectors of the economy, and the progress being made in the development of the recovery and resolution framework. Members discussed potential ideas that could be further developed as part of the banking strategy in Bermuda. In addition, the following topics were discussed:

  • Bermuda’s fintech strategy being developed by the government which has the underlying objective of growing the economy and creating jobs;
  • The Initial Coin Offering (ICO) regulatory framework, with particular focus on the rules around disclosure, communications, information technology, cyber security, AML/ATF as well as record-keeping; and
  • Activities underway at the Bermuda Government and the BMA in respect to continuing with the development of a robust cyber risk management framework for financial institutions and the jurisdiction.

The Council’s next meeting is scheduled for December 2019

2019. July 8. Records of the Financial Policy Council will be exempt from public access to information requests if newly tabled legislation is passed. Gitanjali Gutierrez, the Information Commissioner, said the move would mean the council would be the first financial public authority whose non-administrative records were removed from Pati. A statement from her office said: “It is the Information Commissioner’s view that records related to the financial and economic interests of Bermuda are already adequately protected under existing exemptions under the Pati Act, including section 31. This section protects the disclosure of records which could have a serious adverse effect on the financial interests of Bermuda or on the ability of the Government to manage the national economy, unless their disclosure is in the public interest.” The statement said that in jurisdictions such as Britain, records related to financial operations or monetary policy were exempted from public disclosure, but such exemptions were balanced by a “formal transparency governance framework” to ensure appropriate information was made public. The statement added: “It is the Information Commissioner’s view that, from a public access to information perspective, the proposed framework for the Financial Policy Council does not meet the same standards as the formal transparency governance frameworks adopted by other jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom. If the Amendment Bill is adopted as proposed, the Information Commissioner strongly urges that it be supported by a robust and formal transparency framework for the Financial Policy Council, to ensure that the public’s right to access information is protected.” The Public Access to Information Amendment Act 2019, tabled in the House of Assembly on Friday would put any records obtained or created by the Financial Policy Council outside of the scope of Pati requests. Legislation already exempts records of the Auditor-General, the Ombudsman, courts and tribunals, and the Attorney-General’s Chambers from Pati. The ICO statement said: “The functions of those public authorities fall into three categories; oversight over other public authorities, judicial functions and the provision of legal advice to the Government. The Information Commissioner notes that the Financial Policy Council does not fall into the above categories, nor are its functions and responsibilities outlined in any provision of law.”

2019. July 6. This government financial advisory body will be exempted from public access to information laws if legislation tabled in the House of Assembly yesterday is approved. The amendment to exclude the Financial Policy Council from Pati was brought to the House by Wayne Furbert, above, the Cabinet Office minister. The council was created in 2015 as a public authority to monitor potential risks to the island’s economy and to advise the Government on financial stability.

2019. June 11. An expert panel has urged Government to review the possible linkages between immigration policy reform and sustained economic growth. Members of the Financial Policy Council made the recommendation after their latest meeting. The prospect of declining demographics represent a major risk to Bermuda’s government finances, in particular as it relates to sustained funding for healthcare and pension benefits, the council said. FPC members also discussed Bermuda’s fiscal situation and debt outlook at the meeting. While noting the improvement in the medium-term fiscal outlook in the wake of decisions taken in recent budgets, FPC members urged Government to continue to identify ways of making progress in reducing the large level of outstanding government debt. Several areas of Bermuda’s emerging fintech sector were also discussed during the meeting, including the regulatory framework for digital asset business firms and initial coin offerings. Members reviewed some international comparisons and examined the balance of risks and opportunities emerging from fintech, and how best to promote the further development of Bermuda’s fintech sector, while ensuring that Bermuda’s reputation as a world-class international financial centre was robustly protected. FPC members also discussed the work under way in Bermuda aimed at strengthening the jurisdiction’s resilience to cyber incidents, including measures taken by the Bermuda Government, regulated financial institutions and the BMA, as well as activities under way at the Ministry of Finance and the BMA with respect to continuing with the development of a resolution framework for Bermuda banks. Set up in 2015, the role of the FPC is to assess possible threats to Bermuda’s financial stability, and to identify policies and actions to mitigate or eliminate such threats. It also advises Government on the development of the financial stability framework in Bermuda, and makes policy recommendations designed to support the general economic and financial wellbeing of the country. 

2018. January 4. The Financial Policy Council has advised the Bermuda Government to take a proactive approach in dealing with risks to the island’s economy emanating from the “Paradise Papers”. Bermuda Monetary Authority, the financial regulator, hosted the sixth meeting of the FPC at its offices in November and some details of what was discussed were released today. The “Paradise Papers” refers to a slew of international media reports last year based on millions of documents stolen from law firm Appleby. “FPC noted that Bermuda enjoys a longstanding history as a trusted jurisdiction, with the highest regulatory standards,” a government statement said. “Council members urged the Government and BMA to continue to pursue proactive international engagement efforts with governmental and financial authorities aimed at promptly addressing risks emerging from the event.” The main purpose of the FPC, which was established in 2015, is to assess possible threats to Bermuda’s financial stability, and to identify policies and actions to address them. Members of the FPC include chairman David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, deputy chairman Sir Andrew Large, BMA chief executive officer Jeremy Cox, Sir Courtney Blackman, Michael Butt, Dame Amelia Fawcett and Gil Tucker. The FPC also reviewed work under way by the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee towards strengthening Bermuda’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework in advance of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force mutual evaluation of the island’s regime. Council members stressed the critical importance of a sound anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework to Bermuda’s economic viability and welcomed the formation of a Cabinet committee tasked, among other things, with monitoring progress in this area. Finally, members urged all relevant authorities to continue to attach priority and to assign adequate resources to ensuring its timely implementation so as to lead to a favorable assessment. Council members also discussed the European Union’s initiative to develop a common system for listing of non-co-operative jurisdictions or “blacklist” and stressed the importance of staying off it. The EU published its blacklist in December, after the FPC meeting, and Bermuda was not on it. The statement added: “Bermuda recognizes the importance attached by the EU to clamping down on tax evasion and avoidance, and promoting fairer taxation. “Bermuda believes that its regulatory and tax environment meets most of the expectations sought by the EU. Moreover, Bermuda has been an active participant in the OECD’s Tax Information Exchange Agreement and will continue to actively engage with the EU in order to reach mutual understanding on EU demands and on the most appropriate way of addressing these.” The FPC reviewed the impact on the Bermuda reinsurance industry of the recent active catastrophe season. Overall, while the unique frequency and severity of events was likely to affect the reinsurance sector’s profitability for 2017, it did not raise any concerns regarding the sector’s solvency. Other topics discussed included Government’s plans to improve its fiscal situation and recent developments in shadow banking, especially the work under way at the Financial Stability Board. The meeting was the last one to be attended by Sir Courtney Blackman, whose term has ended. The Premier thanked Sir Courtney for his contribution to the work in FPC during its important start-up phase. The FPC’s next meeting is scheduled for early this year.

2017. December 6. Ten years after the start of the global financial crisis that shook the world, a panel of experts discussed the issue of where financial stability is today. The topic was explored at a Bermuda Monetary Authority industry event, held following the conclusion of a meeting of the Group of International Financial Centre Supervisors. Present were 30 representatives from more than 20 jurisdictions. It was the first time in 40 years that the group had held its biannual plenary session in Bermuda. On the panel was John Aspden, former banker and supervisor, and now chairman of the Group of International Financial Centre Supervisors He was joined by Dame Amelia Fawcett, chairwoman of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments and a member of Bermuda’s Financial Policy Council, Sir Andrew Large, deputy chairman of Bermuda’s Financial Policy Council and a former deputy governor of the Bank of England, and Professor Karel van Hulle, university professor, member of the BMA board of directors, and former head of insurance and pensions at the European Commission.

2016. September 6. Two new members have joined the think-tank set up to advise Government on financial stability. Dame Amelia Fawcett and Gil Tucker have both been added to the Financial Policy Council. Bob Richards, the-then Finance Minister, who is also chairman of the council, said: “Since its inception last year the council has been developing an important role in advising the Government and the Bermuda Monetary Authority on the vulnerabilities and risks in the global economy and the Bermuda economy that might impact Bermuda’s financial sector. Dame Amelia and Gil will bring extensive experience and wisdom to the council’s work.” Dame Amelia, a British and American national, is a former banking executive and chairman of the Hedge Fund Standards Board in London and a non-executive director and chairman of the risk committee of State Street Corporation in Boston. She is a former vice-chairman and chief operating officer at Morgan Stanley International in Europe and was also chairman of the Guardian Media Group. Dame Amelia is chairman of the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation and deputy chairman and member of the governing body of the London Business School. Mr Tucker, a chartered accountant, was managing partner for Bermuda with professional services firm Ernst & Young and later chairman. Although retired, he is active on a number of boards, including Government advisory boards and was three years ago made a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bermuda. The two new appointees will join Sir Andrew Large, who acts as deputy chairman, Jeremy Cox, the Bermuda Monetary Authority CEO, Sir Courtney Blackman and Michael Butt on the council.

2015. December 8. This new advisory body set up to help Bermuda safeguard its economy from systemic risks met for the first time yesterday. The Financial Policy Council (FPC) will aim to monitor areas of potential financial systemic risk, recommend moves to strengthen regulation of the financial-services industry and also help devise plans for when things go wrong — such as bank failures. The advisory body is chaired by Bob Richards, then finance minister, and its members include Jeremy Cox, the chief executive officer of the Bermuda Monetary Authority and three independent experts. Mr Richards said: “In today’s uncertain global economic environment, it is essential that we remain focused on maintaining the health of the financial sector in Bermuda — and the potential risks to the economy. All countries, including Bermuda, are facing threats to their financial stability and many are responding to them. For us in Bermuda this development represents a vital move further to underpin our own financial stability.” The external members include Sir Andrew Large, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, now an adviser to central banks and governments. Sir Courtney Blackman the former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados and Ambassador for Barbados to the US also sits on the council, as does Michael Butt, a veteran of the insurance industry and chairman of Bermuda-based Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. The FPC will meet three times a year. Mr Cox said: “It is critical that existing customers and those considering doing business in Bermuda see us as a jurisdiction where safety, soundness and fiscal credibility have top priority. Bermudians must continue to feel that their hard-earned assets are safe and secure and that decision-making as it relates to Bermuda’s long-term financial stability is of the highest standard. This work is key to the Authority’s objective of maintaining financial stability and the soundness of financial institutions in Bermuda, as well as being aligned with supporting Bermuda’s role as a leading international financial centre.” Many countries began to take financial stability more seriously after the global financial crisis in 2008, when US investment bank Lehman Brothers folded and many other institutions were kept afloat by government-funded bailouts. Bermuda was not as badly affected as some, as its flagship insurance industry came through largely unscathed. However, Butterfield Bank suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in losses on investments linked to soured US residential mortgages before its future was secured by the combination of a government-guaranteed capital raise and a huge cash injection from a group of private-sector investors. Government stated: “The formation of the council will overarch a strategic project begun five years ago to strengthen the financial stability framework in Bermuda.” The work done in that time includes the formation of a deposit insurance scheme and the implementation of tougher international-standard regulations, which require banks and insurers to maintain larger capital buffers to be able to withstand a severe economic downturn or financial shock. Bermuda’s major banks started this year to report under Basel III banking regulations, while the BMA’s insurance regulation was earlier this month given “third-country equivalence” with the European Union’s new Solvency II regulations by the European Commission. In 2011, the BMA also formed a dedicated systemic monitoring and analysis function to provide early warnings and take necessary actions to enhance its existing regulatory framework. The BMA’s Financial Stability department’s team of six is led by senior adviser George Pickering. More recently, the Financial Stability Committee (FSC), a committee comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Finance and BMA, was established to provide a supporting role to the FPC including in relation to implementing its recommendations. The Ministry of Finance and the BMA, along with the Department of Statistics, will also work closely with the FPC to provide it with data relevant to its work. The FPC’s recommendations will include early warning functions, but will extend to further development of the recovery and resolution regime in accordance with standards laid down by the Financial Stability Board set up in Basel by the G20.

Fire Services Advisory Board Fire Services Act 1982. 
Fiscal Responsibility Panel 2018. December 8. Bermuda has been warned that on present trends it is heading for a downward spiral of demographic and economic decline. Experts added that the Government has taken a significant step back from fiscal targets set a year ago, with projected lower revenue and higher spending than at first forecast. The independent Fiscal Responsibility Panel said the decision to delay achieving a balanced budget by a further year to 2020-21 was regrettable, and the new target “must now be met”. The red flags came in the annual assessment of the island by the three-strong panel, which highlighted a shrinking workforce and ageing population as “perhaps the greatest concern” facing the island and its economic future. The report said the situation would put increasing pressure on both taxes and spending. The panel was chaired by David Peretz, who has worked in the UK Treasury, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. This is the fourth consecutive year it has reviewed and reported on the fiscal progress of the Government. The panel said Bermuda needed to reinvigorate economic growth “including through a decisive change in immigration administrative practices”. Their report explained: “A precondition for faster growth is to increase the island’s workforce. It is the only realistic counter to the island’s demographic challenge from a rapidly shrinking and ageing population. Immigrants and returning Bermudians with the right skills will help to create jobs, not displace them.” The panel said that recent improvements in processing times for work permit applications were “an excellent start”, but that they must be followed through with changes in administrative practices and policies. The island’s elderly dependency rates will soar from about 25 per cent at present to 40 per cent in 2026, as the share of seniors in the population climbs from 17 per cent to 25 per cent. The panel warned that was “an extraordinarily rapid rate of change” by the standards of most developed countries. The report said: “The threat this poses can hardly be overstated — this would be a downward spiral of demographic and economic decline.” The island’s financial predicament was highlighted by figures that showed that net government debt has increased fourfold in the past ten years from about $500 million to $2.42 billion. The ratio of government debt to revenue was around 50 per cent a decade ago, now it is more than 220 per cent. The panel said that high level of government debt, unfunded pension liabilities, and other liabilities left Bermuda extremely vulnerable. It added that public sector pension schemes alone have unfunded liability of around $1 billion. The expert panel expressed regret at Government’s decision to delay achieving a balanced budget until 2020-21. The report said: “This target must now be met, as well as the longer-term targets of reducing debt and debt service, respectively to 80 per cent and 10 per cent of revenues.” It added the 2018 Budget projection for revenues is $20 million lower than the projection made in 2017, but current spending is projected to be $24 million higher. The panel recognized policy changes and developments, such as the new sugar tax, relaxation of the 60:40 rule to encourage foreign investment, and clear signals to a more open immigration policy. It also welcomed the unfreezing of positions and additional resources in the Office of the Tax Commissioner. But the panel said the Government collected taxes that amount to 17 per cent of gross domestic product, but this needed to be increased to around 20 to 22 per cent. The Tax Reform Commission’s proposals, released last month, would take tax revenue to about 19 per cent. The panel said that was an important and welcome step and it recommended the proposals “or something like it” should be implemented as soon as possible. It also highlighted the cost of healthcare and said an agenda for action set out by the Ministry of Health and the Bermuda Health Council existed. The panel said: “The Government needs to proceed urgently.” The report added that Bermuda had to promote growth through economic diversification beyond insurance, reinsurance and tourism. The panel said the Government’s focus on promoting fintech, while liberating regulations that have inhibited the growth of the likes of global law firms and banks, was appropriate. But it cautioned against excessive focus on particular niche products, such as digital and cryptocurrencies, where there were significant financial and reputational risks. The report said: “Many have stressed to us the potential risks to this reputation if something were to go wrong with any of the new businesses attracted by Bermuda’s fintech strategy. Regulating these businesses effectively must be a high priority.” It recognized Government’s successful $620 million debt refinancing action last month and added: “Recent reports by the main credit rating agencies have been positive, emphasizing Bermuda’s political and economic stability, and noting the new government’s continued commitment to fiscal sustainability.” But the panel said these were not grounds for complacency because, while Bermuda is reasonably well insulated from some global economic trends, it remained vulnerable to external developments, including regulatory changes and the effects of wider financial crises. The panel concluded the report with a list of key problems that had to be addressed “without delay”. It said: “Taken together this is a challenging agenda. If tackled now and with determination it will leave the territory in a much safer and more prosperous place. Work on much of it is already under way. The renewed impetus behind immigration reform is welcome. And the proposals of the Tax Reform Commission provide what up to now has been a missing piece — how to achieve the Government’s targets for deficit and debt reduction.” The Fiscal Responsibility Panel held meetings with individuals and institutions during the course of its discussions in Bermuda from November 19 to 24. The other members of the panel were Peter Heller, a retired deputy director of the fiscal affairs department of the International Monetary Fund, and Jonathan Portes, principal research fellow at the UK National Institute of Economic and Social Research. Curtis Dickinson, Minister of Finance, said: “The Government is certain that the panel’s report will be a useful document to assist with the Government’s deficit and debt reduction strategy, and I encourage the general public to thoroughly read the report to get a better understanding of the various fiscal challenges facing the Government”.

2018. January 5. Accounting and legal services are set to be taxed in next month’s Budget, according to a report by independent advisers of the Bermuda Government. The Fiscal Responsibility Panel’s annual assessment, published last month, also estimates that Government is provisionally planning for a deficit of around $65 million in the next fiscal year — around $39 million higher than had been projected in last February’s Budget. The previous One Bermuda Alliance government had planned to introduce a general services tax this year, expected to bring in around $50 million. But the FRP says the new Progressive Labour Party administration has put the GST on the back-burner, while it can be considered by the Tax Reform Commission. “The GST will not be implemented in 2018 as proposed by the previous government, but we understand that, possibly as an interim measure, a professional-services tax is to be implemented in 2018-19, limited initially to services provided in the legal and accounting professions,” the report states. Asked for comment, a Ministry of Finance spokesman said more on the upcoming Budget would be revealed in the coming days. “The Ministry of Finance will next week be issuing a Pre-Budget Report that will advise on the proposals under consideration by the Government for the coming fiscal year. Final positions by the Government with regard to fiscal matters are usually revealed on Budget Day, which is normally during a Parliamentary sitting on the third or fourth Friday in February.” In its third yearly report, the FRP, comprising David Peretz, Peter Heller and Jonathan Portes, offers clues on the projected Budget deficit for 2018-19. David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, is due to deliver his first Budget next month. “Looking forward, our understanding is that the new government’s current intention is to target a deficit in 2018-19 that is no greater than the Sinking Fund contribution, ensuring that net debt falls over the course of the year,” the report states. “This implies a deficit, on the government’s preferred definition (that is, after Sinking Fund payments) of about $65 million, more than double the $26 million target set out in the 2017 Budget, with expenditure roughly flat in cash terms (instead of falling by about $18 million) and revenues also falling short. While this would still represent a significant reduction in the deficit from the current year, this further slippage, coming on top of that seen under the previous government’s budget, is unwelcome.” The deficit for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which runs through March 31, was projected to be about $135 million. The panel argues that the island’s tax regime is inadequate to face the looming challenges posed by an ageing population, the need for debt reduction and the need for infrastructure and human capital investment. Bermuda should, the FRP said, aim over time to bring its revenue take to about 22 to 23 per cent of gross domestic product — four to five percentage points above where it is now — in line with some other island economies. It noted that the current tax structure was “excessively weighted towards the taxation of labor and goods” and added that dividend income from partnerships, “much of which is effectively labor income”, went untaxed, a privilege that should end in the interests of a fairer tax system. “It also has the perverse effect of taxing companies that bring employment to the island, through the payroll tax, while leaving those that do not bring employment largely tax free,” the report states. This week, a Bloomberg report showed how Alphabet, parent company of internet giant Google, has slashed its tax bill by funneling about $19 billion to a Bermuda subsidiary which employs no one. Such examples have provoked anger overseas and harmed the island’s reputation without bringing meaningful financial benefit. The FRP had a suggestion to address this issue: “A very significant increase in registration fees charged to companies that do not have a genuine economic presence on the island, perhaps graduated according to their turnover. This would both raise revenue, and represent a clear ‘down payment’ on the Government’s commitment to address this issue in the context of the EU Code of Conduct Initiative.” The FRP also urges an increase in the staffing of the Office of the Tax Commissioner to address the large amount of uncollected tax. And it argues that a GST is needed “on equity, efficiency and revenue mobilization grounds”. Other ideas included moving away from fixed-rate social insurance contributions to a percentage of income, and taxing capital income of residents, such as dividends, interest and capital gains, with an exemption for an initial tranche of such income. “It is worth noting that other similar jurisdictions, such as Jersey and Guernsey, tax income from capital in the context of normal income tax regimes,” the FRP said. In his Reply to the Budget speech in March last year, Mr Burt hinted at targeting capital income. “There are vast swaths of domestic wealth and income that have never been subjected to tax, which by its very construct fosters continued economic inequality,” Mr Burt said in the House of Assembly. “This is why our taxation system promotes and fuels economic inequality. Tax reform and broadening the tax base cannot be effective if they are unwilling to look at taxing the passive income of the privileged persons in society.” During last year’s successful General Election campaign, the PLP stressed it did not plan to tax rental income.

2015. October 2. Three leading international experts in public policy finance have been appointed to serve as members of the newly created Fiscal Responsibility Panel. According to the Bermuda Government, the panel will increase transparency and international credibility by providing an independent, external report of its actual fiscal conduct against the fiscal rules established. Finance minister Bob Richards said in a statement: “I am pleased to announce that we have put in place a Fiscal Responsibility Panel to help tackle our looming fiscal challenges. This group will publish, on an annual basis, an independent report assessing the Island’s fiscal strategy, focusing on progress in meeting our medium term objectives for public spending, taxation, borrowing and debt reduction.” In his 2015-16 Budget, Mr Richards said that the Government aims to balance the budget within three years. He said at that time: “To increase transparency and international credibility, Government intends to establish an international, independent committee to review, monitor, assess and publicly report on the fiscal progress of the Government. Several other islands have also adopted similar outside assessors and it has helped bolster credibility and confidence. The report prepared by this panel will be an input into the overall work to create a framework for financial stability policy in Bermuda.” The Fiscal Responsibility Panel will be chaired by David Peretz, an independent consultant on international financial issues who has worked in the British Treasury, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, with particular experience in advising on strategic and economic issues affecting small countries. He is joined by Jonathan Portes, the director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, whose expertise covers economic policy issues including labour markets, skills, migration poverty, and international economic and financial issues. The third member, Peter Heller, is a 30-year veteran of the International Monetary Fund, professor and lecturer on public policy finance. The Government’s press release states that its medium-term target is that, by 2019, Bermuda would be paying for the operations and programmes of the Government and not increasing debt relative to the size of the economy. Mr Richards added: “We look forward to the panel beginning its important work for the Bermudian people and for the first report to be published.” Mr Peretz stated: “We are pleased to be asked to take on this important role for Bermuda and look forward to producing our first report later this year.”


General Improvement Area Tribunal Bermuda Housing Act 1980. 
Government Boards & Committees 2019. November 21. The Minister for the Cabinet Office tonight appealed for people prepared to serve on Government boards and committees. Wayne Furbert said that expression of interest forms were available on the Government’s website and could be completed and submitted online. Mr Furbert said: said: “Interested individuals are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to serve their community. Government boards and committees play an important role in the community by ensuring good governance and by providing independent and expert governance or advice.” The application forms can be found at https://www.gov.bm/government-boards-and-committees and the deadline for submissions is December 6.
Government Employees (Health Insurance) Appeals Tribunal Government Employees (Health Insurance) Act 1986. 
Government Employees (Health Insurance) Management Committee Government Employees (Health Insurance) Act 1986. 


Health & Safety Advisory Council The Health & Safety at Work Act 1982. Includes representatives from Bermuda Hotel Association; Bermuda Union of Teachers; Small Business Development Corporation; Bermuda Chamber of Commerce; Public Service Association; Bermuda Police Service Association; Bermuda Fire Services Association; Independent Employers; Bermuda Industrial Union; Ministry of Health & Family Services, ex-officio; Department of Personnel Services, ex-officio.  
Historic Building Advisory Committee Ministry of Environment. 
Historic Wrecks Authority (HWA) Government-appointed

2019. September 27. An iconic shipwreck was badly damaged as a result of Hurricane Humberto. The Montana, a paddle steamer and civil war blockade runner, which was wrecked off Bermuda’s North Shore in 1863, forms an important part of Bermuda’s maritime cultural heritage. Chris Gauntlett, the chairman of the Historic Wrecks Authority, who has visited the site to witness the impact of last Wednesday’s storm, told The Royal Gazette: “It looks like a bomb hit it — it is very, very different.” The extent of the damage is being assessed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which will publish an extensive report on it. Mr Gauntlett said that the Montana’s history included being hit by the Constellation, the wreckage to the northwest of Bermuda, which inspired the book and movie The Deep. The chairman said: “It is a big old story.” Mr Gauntlett, the owner and operator for Blue Water Divers and Watersports, added: “You can see a lot just by swimming over it. It is iconic. It is one of Bermuda’s most famous spots.” Falko Kuester, an engineering and virtual reality professor at University of California San Diego, has been working with the Government to create the Bermuda 100 Project, a digital atlas of underwater sites surrounding Bermuda. Dr Kuester said: “The damage to marine heritage, which is now emerging, is gut-wrenching. We are very sad to hear that among the impacted marine heritage sites is the beautiful Montana.” He said the Montana had been an “incredibly important site” in the development and application of new tools, techniques and technologies in documenting and preserving underwater heritage. Dr Kuester added: “Now we will work with our partners in the Bermuda Government to help them fully assess the damage, creating a new data set so that the recovery of coral and this unique heritage can move forward.” Philippe Rouja, the government custodian of historic wrecks, who will be working on the project, said: “The Montana has had extensive and incredibly detailed high-resolution imagery data sets produced of the site prior to Hurricane Humberto.”

  • For more information on the Bermuda 100 Project, visit bermuda100.org. 
Hospital Insurance Commission Hospital Insurance Act 1970. 
Hotel Licensing Appeal Tribunal Hotel (Licensing & Control) Act 1969. 
Human Rights Commission Human Rights Act 1981

2019. March 20. A clear-out of Human Rights Commission watchdogs has sparked concern about continuity at the anti-discrimination body. Tawana Tannock, the former chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission, said she was worried important work could “fall between the cracks” if every board member was replaced. A fresh team of 12 was expected to be named today. It is understood that none of the new appointments have served on the Human Rights Commission before. The decision to appoint a new board was made despite applications from a handful of sitting members last November. Ms Tannock’s fears were backed by her former deputy chairman, while others claimed the last board was surprised that none of them were re-selected. One source said: “Whether political or not, I have no clue, but obviously one wonders.” The HRC was set up to oversee the application of the Human Rights Act for all Bermuda residents and provides a way to resolve complaints related to areas such as sexual harassment or disability. It is made up of between five and 12 people, appointed by an independent selection committee for terms that last up to three years. The previous group of commissioners included four people on their second stint, after they were first appointed to the 2013-15 board and returned for 2016-18. It was thought at least four of those appointed in 2016 reapplied for the new group of commissioners, but none were successful. Ms Tannock, who did not reapply, said: “In the private sector, the wholesale replacement of a governance board is virtually unheard of. “If there is no continuity on the board, there is a real risk that in transitioning to a new board, governance issues, organizational goals and ongoing matters that require the board’s attention may fall between the cracks or suffer from lack of a consistent approach.” She explained that, based on her own experience of sitting on several boards, including two terms on the HRC, it was “integral to any organisation to have some continuity at the board level, especially a governance board that is accountable to the public for use of government funds and fulfilling a legislative mandate”. Ms Tannock added: “When the HRC commissioners were only involved in adjudication of complaints, education and advocacy of human rights, there still should have been some continuity, but the need would not have been as great as it is now that the board effectively has oversight of the management of the organisation.” John Hindess, who served as deputy chairman until December, said he agreed “wholeheartedly”. He said yesterday: “If there was not one returning commissioner from the old commission, that would be a grave concern. Continuity on boards is very important; it just makes common sense.” Mr Hindess applied to be chairman for the new term but was informed last month that he was unsuccessful. He said: “I really valued my work on the commission and I wanted to continue it. I felt there was a lot of unfinished business in Bermuda for human rights protection.” Mr Hindess added: “It’s also concerning that there still hasn’t been a commission publicly appointed yet and we’re on March 19 — that’s very concerning.” Another well-placed source said: “I am shocked that we are two-and-a-half months without a new set of commissioners.” It is understood that the first quarter, which ends in 11 days, would be used to set out plans for the rest of the year. The source added that this also meant no commissioners were in place to oversee HRC operations, judge complaints or carry out other requirements outlined in the legislation. It appeared new commissioners were announced in March or April in previous years. The selection process was opened to the public for the first time for the 2013 intake and more than 70 applications were received for the latest posts. Amendments made to the Act in 2012 provided that a selection and appointment committee would be made up of a head, who can be chosen by the government minister responsible for the HRC, one representative each recommended by the Premier and the Opposition Leader, and two members of the public chosen by the head of the committee. The legislation said that the minister would consult with the HRC executive officer and the department responsible for human rights to determine the criteria for choosing commissioners. Jens Juul, who served two terms from 2013 to 2018, said: “If there is no continuity, I would be surprised.” An annual report released last July showed that in 2017 the commission received 112 complaints and managed 23 investigations — a quarter of which involved racial discrimination. Ms Tannock said in January, after she stepped down, that the same-sex marriage row was the most difficult subject she had tackled over her six years in office. During that period, same-sex marriage became legal, was banned again and then legalized once more. The Government will attempt to ban it again through an appeal to London’s Privy Council. The HRC supported legal recognition of rights for same-sex couples, but Ms Tannock felt “disheartened” over a lack of clear leadership for Bermuda on what should be done to safeguard the rights of some citizens. She also called at the time for extra legislation to protect the independence of human rights commissioners. Ms Tannock said that the HRC had experienced no political interference during her two terms. The HRC did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

2018. December 7. Bermuda’s human rights laws need updating to reflect social change, according to a civil liberties watchdog. Tawana Tannock, chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission, said: “Upholding the integrity of the Human Rights Act underpinned our engagement with the former and current government during the course of 2017. The Constitution was written at a time when racial segregation still existed in Bermuda and it remains limited and dated in its scope. The Human Rights Act emerged to address stark omissions and provide both a practical and aspirational framework for protecting distinct, yet intersected, rights in our community.” Ms Tannock was writing in the HRC’s annual report for last year. She said: “Amendments that seek to manipulate or weaken the function of the Act risk undermining all protections within it, and must be vigorously guarded against and examined. The Act must continue to evolve to meet the needs of our diverse and developing island and to serve as a measure of our commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable community.” The report, released last Friday, said the commission received 112 complaints last year. A total of 19 per cent of the complaints alleged racial discrimination, 11 per cent were on the grounds of disability and ten per cent were on the grounds of place of origin. But 39 per cent of complaints failed to identify a protected ground of discrimination. The HRC managed 23 investigations over the course of the year, including ten new cases and 13 that were carried over from 2016. The report said that a quarter of the investigations involved racial discrimination, with 21 per cent based on sex discrimination and 14 per cent on place of origin. Several of the investigation involved allegations of discrimination on several grounds. The HRC resolved 11 cases over the course of the year — six through conciliation or mediation and two through a tribunal hearing. The other three complaints were withdrawn. In once case detailed by the report, a complainant claimed they had been harassed in their workplace and a co-worker had called them a derogatory name based on race. The complainant claimed he went to the company’s management, but nothing was done. The HRC approved an investigation into the case, but the complainant withdrew the allegation and said they had reached an agreement with management. Another case involved a Bermudian employee who complained that non-Bermudian staff had been given preferential treatment. The complainant said he had been suspended after it was alleged he confronted a non-Bermudian employee — which he denied. The HRC conducted a preliminary investigation, but found the complainant’s behavior had been “less than stellar”. The HRC report added: “The manager further stated that the investigation into the incident with the non-Bermudian was viewed on camera and another co-worker provided a statement supporting that the complainant approached the staff member aggressively. Based on this information, the executive officer determined that there was no evidence that the Human Rights Act 1981 had been violated and closed the complaint.” The HRC report also detailed several high-profile court cases that took place over the course of the year. These included the Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche civil suit, which opened the door to same-sex marriage in Bermuda. The report also highlighted several cases involving controversial speaker Ayo Kimathi, who was banned from the island after he delivered a lecture which included what was described as hate speech. The HRC said the case highlighted the limits to free speech and the Supreme Court finding that there was no Constitutional protection for hate speech in Bermuda. The HRC report said: “While it remains a mission of the Bermuda Constitution to attack modern manifestations of historic racial discrimination, there is also the need to suppress, with equal vigor, new manifestations of discrimination as well. Moreover, the free speech rights established by the Constitution carry with them corresponding duties and responsibilities because these rights can only be exercised in a way that does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of other people or the public interest.”

2016. April 8. A fresh chapter has begun for the Human Rights Commission in its new headquarters at Milner Place, Hamilton, where the latest set of commissioners held its first meeting. Tawana Tannock, the HRC chairwoman, praised the work of the selection committee in bringing together commissioners from a broad variety of backgrounds. “I’m very pleased that we have this diverse body of 12 to help move the commission into a new era of greater independence,” Ms Tannock said, referring to the HRC’s official move out from the auspices of the Ministry of Community, Culture and Sports. Continuing member Jens Juul, a certified insurance arbitrator, has served on several local boards as well as operating Scandinavian Re, while new member Dany Pen, the education and communications officer for the Bermuda National Gallery, holds a special interest in women’s rights, gender equality and education. New member Jonathan Young said he took inspiration from the service of his mother, Kim Young, as a commissioner; he comes from an insurance background, as well as teaching at the Bermuda College, where he was a shop steward. Carla George, a new commissioner coming from a legal background, has also served on a variety of boards, including CedarBridge Academy, the Bermuda Hospitals Board and the Board of Education, and gave education as one of her main interests. Returning commissioner Kim Simmons, a corporate attorney, expressed a broad interest in human rights, particularly in how the topic was perceived by young people. Ms Simmons said she looked forward to continuing her advocacy for persons with mental disabilities. Donna Daniels, a former teacher and principal of Dellwood Middle School, is also executive director of the Adult Education School. Ms Daniels gave education as her “passion”, along with the protection of the vulnerable, the links between unemployment and poverty, and issues concerning mental health. New member Ben Adamson, a lawyer with 15 years’ experience, has served as a human rights mediator for the past six years, while Quinton Butterfield, also new, works in the Bermuda Government’s information technology office. Mr Butterfield said he looked forward to seeing the island “move forward on marriage equality, gender equality and gender identity”, and gave another interest as education and advocacy on the topic of human rights. Absent from the gathering were members Carolyn Thomas Ray, Franklin Fahnbulleh, and deputy chairman John Hindes.

2006.  The head civil servant at HRC resigned weeks after the chairman of the Government board also stepped down. Mr. David Wilson’s resignation came after Rod Attride-Stirling, then chairman of the HRC, called for jobs to be lost over the Commission’s repeated failure to produce annual reports in compliance with the Human Rights Act. The last annual report for the HRC was filed in 2001 and a report for 2005, which should have been presented to the Minister for Community Affairs by June, had not been delivered.

I, J, K

Immigration Appeal Tribunal

Established in July 2011 by the House of Assembly as an independent but Government-appointed tribunal on immigration matters. In July 2012 it began to schedule its first appeals, more than a year after it was established. Itl makes the final decisions on grievances relating to issues such as Bermudian status, permanent residency and work permits. It replaced a Cabinet committee that previously heard appeals of Ministerial decisions. This committee ran the risk of being seen as biased, so the independent tribunal was established instead. There are 12 members of the panel. The tribunal has sought guidance from Government lawyers in drafting rules for the tribunal’s use and the guidance of appellants and lawyers.

Immigration Reform Working Croup 2017. May 2. Working with Government to collect data after a lack of available information slowed progress. Delivering an update on the group’s work, chairman William Madeiros said that after a year of discussions, forums and submissions, calls for data about mixed status families in Bermuda were a “constant theme. All members take their responsibilities seriously and remain focused on making recommendations to the Government,” he said. “No one expected to be working on these matters a year after we commenced. The group has spent hundreds of hours in deliberations, spoken to many outside agencies, studied numerous submissions and hosted ten productive public forums. To progress further, however, we need reliable data in order to make fair, well-conceived and multi-generational legislative proposals to the Government. The call for such information was a consistent theme during the many public meetings held last year. In the absence of relevant information being readily available, we are now developing, with Government assistance, a means to collect critically important data on mixed status families. Once collected, we will be able to advance our deliberations and come back to the public for its review and assessment. We have been challenged on our timeline, process and progress by some in the community. Our position is clear: we will examine the issues carefully, engage the public and arrive at informed positions on the issues at hand. Our mandate is to get the proposals right — inclusive of public consultation — and we know that Bermuda will allow us the necessary time to do so.” Mr Madeiros said the group reports to Michael Dunkley, the Premier, through the Minister of Home Affairs, the Immigration Reform Action Group and the Bermuda Industrial Union, and has been regularly reporting on its deliberations to those parties, along with the Bermuda Public Services Union and the People’s Campaign. The working group was formed in the wake of a week of protest outside the House of Assembly over proposed “Pathways to Status” legislation. Last June, the group presented its recommendations on adoption cases, and has since been working to examine the issue of mixed status families on the island.
Induction Committee Established to consider who should be Bermuda's National Heroes and Heroines for Bermuda's National Heroes public holiday.
Insurance Advisory Committee No legislation specified.
Judicial and Legal Services Committee Recommends judicial and legal appointees.
Justice System Review Committee  


Labor Advisory Council Ministry of Labor, Home Affairs and Public Safety. Includes Workers Representatives of Bermuda Public Services Association; Bermuda Industrial Union; Bermuda Union of Teachers; Electricity Supply Trade Union; Fire Services Association; Association of School Principals; Bermuda Federation of Musicians and Variety Artists. Employers' Representatives of Government; Independent Employers; Bermuda Employer's Council; Hotel Employers of Bermuda.
Land Valuation Appeals Tribunal Land Valuation & Tax Act 1967.
Law Reform Commission Proposed in the 2008 Throne Speech to ensure the constant review of legislation and to make the law responsive to the needs of society. How it will differ from the Law Reform Committee is not yet known.

2019. July 30. An independent Law Reform Commission has been set up — ten years after legislation paved the way for its introduction. Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, said this week that in 2009 it became “unarguably clear that Bermuda lagged behind international best practice”. She told the Senate that the six-strong group will study and review Bermuda’s legislation to identify areas where development or change is needed. The commission’s chairman will be Delroy Duncan, a founding partner at law firm Trott & Duncan. Commissioners will include former attorneys-general Michael Scott, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher, and Mark Pettingill, a director of law firm Chancery Legal. Ms Simmons said: “This government acknowledges that the need for comprehensive and systemic reform of Bermuda’s laws is as urgent today as it was in 2009 when a formalized law reform body was conceived. Therefore, I am pleased today to inform senators and members of the public that we are advancing this initiative. Over the next several weeks, the contact information for the commission and how persons can make submissions will be provided.” The Upper House heard that Bermuda has had an ad hoc law reform committee since 1968, but the PLP saw the need to introduce a statutory body. Ms Simmons explained that throughout the Commonwealth, it appeared that law reform was best carried out by a permanent body with a defined role. She added that a review of other jurisdictions during the development of legislation in 2009 showed that a range of countries had law reform agencies that shared common characteristics. Ms Simmons said: “It was unarguably clear that Bermuda lagged behind international best practice previously in establishing an independent statutory law reform agency.” She added that the Law Reform Commission Act 2009 came into operation in February 2011. Mr Scott, then the justice minister, said in March that year the commission was expected to be “fully operational” by April 1. However, Trevor Moniz, at the time the One Bermuda Alliance’s shadow attorney-general, said in August 2011 that he believed the Law Reform Commission had still not started its work. The other commissioners named were lawyers Rod Attride-Stirling, Kim Wilkerson and Jacqueline MacLellan. Ms Simmons said: “All appointees bring a wealth of experience and commitment to advancing the much needed reform of Bermuda’s laws.” The commission’s work will include law development “with the aim of making it more responsive to the changing needs of Bermudian society” and the adoption of more effective ways to use the law and serve justice. Another function is to make recommendations “for the elimination of anomalies in the law, the repeal of obsolete and unnecessary Acts or provisions of an Act, and the simplification and modernisation of the law”. Ms Simmons explained that the commission would be able to consider suggestions for law reform from others and start or commission research. The body will be staffed by public officers and a parliamentary counsel will be assigned to help with its work. Ms Simmons said that consultants and experts can be hired by the commission and paid at rates approved by the Government. She added: “The expenses of the commission will be met out of funds to be appropriated annually by the legislature. It is intended to use existing resources to support the commission during this initial stage. During the remainder of this fiscal year, the expenses of the commission will be monitored and assessed to determine the level of funding to be appropriated during the next Budget.” Ms Simmons said the commission must produce annual reports of its work, which will go before both houses of the legislature. The Royal Gazette asked for more information about what had happened with the Law Reform Commission since the Act came into operation in 2011, but Government did nor respond by press time.

Law Reform Committee Ministry of Legislative Affairs. 
Legal Aid Committee Legal Aid Act 1980. 
Litigation Guardian Council 2018. July 21. Will be set up by the Bermuda Government. The body will provide regulatory oversight of the recruitment, management and administration of litigation guardians on the island, according to social development minister Michael Weeks. It comes after a Supreme Court ruling that magistrates must consider appointing legal representatives to protect the rights of children who appear in court, if money is available. In June, Puisne Judge Stephen Hellman ruled that the Children’s Act required the Family Court to consider the appointment of a counsel or “litigation guardian” for children. Mr Weeks responded today that policy development around litigation guardians has been “under way for some time” in his ministry. He said the Progressive Labour Party had pledged to enhance the protocol for litigation guardians in the Throne Speech last September. Mr Weeks said his ministry had consulted with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in Britain, which provides oversight of litigation guardians. He said: “As a result, the Ministry of Social Development and Sports has formulated a policy framework which Cabinet has now approved, and for which drafting instructions have been issued to the Attorney-General’s Chambers. “The policy framework calls for the establishment of a statutory Litigation Guardian Council to provide regulatory oversight of the recruitment, management and administration of litigation guardians in Bermuda.” Mr Weeks said a litigation guardian from Cafcass was recently appointed by the Family Court in Bermuda on an unpaid basis to provide an objective review of the circumstances related to a family matter in the best interest of the child concerned.
Liquor Licensing Authority Determines which businesses in the retail, wholesale and restaurants sectors get liquor licences.

M, N, O

Marine Resources Board Fisheries Act 1972. 
Medical Reference Committee Motor Car Act 1951.
Mental Health Review Tribunal Mental Health Act 1968. 
Millennium Fund Committee Millennium Fund Act 1988. 
Ministers and Members of the Legislature Pension Fund Ministers and Members of Parliament pay 12.5 per cent of their gross salaries into their pension fund by this name. Government matches contributions, to make a total of 25%. Pensions are paid out based on a formula pertaining to the number of years in which contributions were made. 

2015. December 19. Retired Cabinet ministers are set to have their pension pots restored, after a resolution proposed by the Premier passed at the House of Assembly. Michael Dunkley explained on Wednesday night that ministers’ salaries were reduced by 10 per cent in March 2013 to help cut costs, a move which remains in effect today. However, any minister who retired after that point has seen their pension from the Ministers of the Legislature Pension Fund (MMLPF) similarly docked. “This was an unintended consequence of the resolution, and is also unfair to the members who, for the most part, would have paid into the MMLPF at the higher salary,” said Mr Dunkley. The Premier suggested the introduction of a retroactive resolution to fix the issue, which went through uncontested. “For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this resolution shall be taken to modify the annual salaries actually payable to members of the legislature,” Mr Dunkley added.

2013, February 12. The pension fund set up for Bermuda’s legislators is worth well over $8 million. According to the latest audited financial statement of the Ministers and Members of the Legislature Pensions Fund, a total of $8,528,514 was available for benefits payable by the Fund on March 31, 2009. Assets increased by $1,449,348 during fiscal 2009 — $446,060 of that increase came from members’ contributions, a matching amount was contributed by Government and the fund earned $557,228 in interest. Assets decreased by about $690,000, the largest share of that being $490,000 paid out in benefits. But the year started with net assets of $7.7 million. The Fund receives 25 percent of salaries paid to parliamentarians, senators and staff of the legislature, split equally between the Government and the contributors. Pensions are paid to contributors from age 60 if they have served at least eight years or at age 55 if they have served for 20 years or more. The pensions fund financial statements were tabled in the House of Assembly on Friday.

Ministers and Parliamentarians Salary Review Board Set up by legislation enacted in 2005 in an effort to end the recurring controversy that flares up every time MPs vote for a pay rise for themselves.
National Accessibility and Advisory Council Established after the Committee for a National Policy on Disabilities was established in 2005 to determine guiding principles; recommend policy objectives in the areas of access, communication, education, training, health, housing and transportation; and to identify overall goals and objectives for each area. Its its report was completed and Government accepted the recommendations with the 155 objectives.
National Anti-Money Laundering Committee Established in 1997 under the Proceeds of Crime Act
National Child Safeguarding Committee 2018. August 16. New regulations to better protect the rights of children are being finalized, senators heard yesterday. Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General, said that the move would “enhance the effectiveness” of the National Child Safeguarding Committee. She added that since its creation in 2016 the committee “has developed protocols, goals and objectives and has outlined main areas of focus”. Ms Simmons added: “This includes legislative changes and training, along with a more robust system of offender management and a community awareness programme. The aim is to promote recognition that our children are our most valuable resources, and that when one is injured, we all hurt.” She said the committee had three key aims — to strengthen the legislative, collaborative and community protection frameworks. Ms Simmons said that objectives proposed by the committee included amendments to the Criminal Code Special Measures provisions to reduce re-victimization of children while testifying, allowing uncorroborated testimony from children, and increased sentencing powers in Magistrates’ Court to reduce the number of cases that force child victims to go through Supreme Court trials. Ms Simmons said that reporting of known or suspected neglect or abuse of a child was mandatory in Bermuda. She added: “In circumstances where individuals or institutions fail to identify or fail to report the signs of abuse and neglect, the consequences can be far-reaching and have a lasting adverse impact on children, their families and the entire community. I state categorically this is not acceptable, and is not an option.” Ms Simmons said that some abuse and neglect had gone undetected. She added: “Failure to report or share information, and failure to recognize abuse, or failure to understand the nature and level of the risk of harm faced by our children cannot be allowed to continue. Committee members have received training in forensic interviewing to help ensure that children are not further victimized during investigations. We are determined to do all that we can to strengthen our child protection system, legislative and statutory duties, and to enhance offender management regimes in ways which bring security and an environment that optimizes the development of our most valued resource — our children. Child safeguarding is a necessity and our pledge is to continue to fully embrace and support this initiative. We see a brighter future for our children through these efforts.”
National Drug Commission National Drug Commission Act 1993. 
National Parks Commission The Bermuda National Parks Act 1986. 
National Security Defence Review Government-appointed. 2015, December 18. Legislation amending the Royal Bermuda Regiment was passed in the Senate. Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Foster-Brown, the Royal Bermuda Regiment’s commanding officer, observed the debate. While the Defence Act was supported by independent senators, Diallo Rabain, the Opposition Leader in the Senate, pointed out the change in the One Bermuda Alliance’s narrative from repeated pledges to eliminate conscription, to an Act that pointedly retains it as an option. However, Jeff Baron, the Junior Minister of National Security, told the Upper House: “The key word is ‘transition’.” Maintaining that the Government remained determined to end conscription, Sen Baron said: “This is not just trying to tick a box for an election promise. We could have done that on day one, but we recognise that is not responsible.” Sen Baron said it would not present any pathways to citizenship for foreign nationals who joined up. The legislation opens up volunteering to non-Commonwealth citizens, and holders of Permanent Residents’ Certificates can also sign up. The amendments are based on the recommendations of this National Security Defence Review.
National Training Board The National Training Board Act 1997. 94 Reid Street, Hamilton HM 12. Telephone (441) 292-3700. Fax (441) 292-5984. 
National Tourism Action Group Ministry of Tourism. 
National Youth Council The Cabinet Office. A representative each of the Berkeley Institute; Bermuda Institute; Bermuda High School for Girls; Bermuda College; Cedarbridge Academy; Clearwater Middle School; Mount St. Agnes Academy; Sandys Secondary Middle School; Saltus Senior School; Warwick Academy Senior School
Office of Public Management & Procurement (OPMP) 2017. March 15. Guidelines are set to be put in place for the government’s watchdog of fairness over public contracts, nearly six years after it was formally established. Premier Michael Dunkley told Parliament that $773,000 has been set aside in the 2017/18 fiscal year for the Office of Public Management and Procurement (OPMP) — most of it earmarked for salaries, which have dropped by $87,000 with the discontinuation of the temporary post of project manager. However, David Burt, the Leader of the Opposition, scolded the Government for neglecting the office, saying just four of the eight budgeted positions were filled. Mr Burt pointed to “ongoing instances of non-compliance” with Financial Instructions pointed out by the Accountant-General’s financial statements for the Consolidated Fund as of March 21, 2016, which was tabled last week in the House. “The office that was created in 2011 to ensure that these violations were reduced is understaffed,” Mr Burt said. “Meanwhile, the Government has refused to publish the code of conduct for procurement that will make violations of the rules an offence. The One Bermuda Alliance has been in office for 51 months and despite pleas from the public and the Commission of Inquiry, they still refuse to follow the Good Governance Act.” MPs heard on Monday that the OPPM is to adopt a system for managing capital projects in the coming fiscal year, along with a procurement procedure manual and a code of practice. A draft code was published in November 2016, with consultation closing on January 31. OPPM was an early initiative under the former premier Paula Cox, unveiled in November 2010, as part of a host of measures under the Good Governance Act that Parliament passed in July 2011. But the understaffed office languished in subsequent years, with its code of practice a continual work in progress — something Ms Cox lamented in October 2016 during her appearance before the Commission of Inquiry. Under the 2016 Throne Speech, the Government has pledged to integrate the code of practice for project management and procurement within “a new unified legislative framework” to replace sections of the Good Governance Act and the Public Treasury (Administration and Payments) Act 1969. The OPPM has also been allocated a grant of $150,000 for 2017/18, which the Premier said would go towards an electronic purchasing and tendering system.

2015. September 30. This office, set up in 2011 to strengthen financial accountability in government has only half the staff it needs, it has been revealed. And a suitable candidate to lead the Office of Project Management and Procurement (OPMP) has yet to be found, despite the job being advertised twice and having a salary of more than $100,000 a year. A statement released by the unit under new public access to information requirements shows that it should have eight employees but lacks a director and is understaffed. Asked about the situation, a government spokesman told The Royal Gazette: “There are eight positions in the Office of Project Management and Procurement, of which four are filled. They are the contracts and compliance manager, the senior project manager, the procurement manager and an administrative assistant. The position of director is currently vacant and has been advertised twice. We are looking for the right person who will work to ensure the OPMP fulfils its mission to provide oversight and guidance to public authorities and implement the soon-to-be released code of practice on procurement and project management. The contracts and compliance manager is acting as director while the position is being recruited.” The spokesman said the director, once recruited, would assess the skills needed to “assist the department and the managers to perform their oversight and audit functions. As a result, the recruitment of the procurement operations analyst, the procurement systems officer and the contracts and compliance officer will be completed after a director has been appointed.” The OPMP was created under former Premier Paula Cox under the Good Governance Act 2011 and falls within the remit of the Cabinet Office. Michael Dunkley told parliament earlier this year, in reference to the office being set up under the Progressive Labour Party, that Ms Cox “had to do something … because those guys on that side were pilfering.” The Premier withdrew the word “pilfering” but questioned what had happened to “missing assets.” The office’s website says it “provides oversight and guidance to government departments and ministries regarding project management and procurement activities to ensure fairness, transparency and consistency in awards of contracts and adherence to applicable rules and industry best practices.” 

Optometrists and Opticians Council Optometrists and Opticians Act 1973. 

Parish Councils

Bermuda Government appointed under the Parish Councils Act 1971. 

Devonshire Parish Council Hamilton Parish Council  Paget Parish Council
Pembroke Parish Council St. George's Parish Council Sandys Parish Council
Smith's Parish Council Southampton Parish Council Warwick Parish Council


Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on the living wage. This committee was mandated beginning in 2017 to provide recommendations for the implementation of a living wage for Bermuda. In 2019 it has invited comments from the public at town hall meetings. Chairman is Rolfe Commissiong, MP, PLP.
Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Women’s Issues and Unemployment. Bermuda Government.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Public Accounts (PAC) Made up of Members of Parliament. It is authorized by the House of Assembly to look at public expenditure. The committee also investigates findings reported by the Auditor General in the annual and other special reports. Often meets in the Senate Chamber, Cabinet Building on Front Street.
Parole Board The Parole Board Act 2001. 
Pension Commission The National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Act 1998. Phone 295-8672, Its website is www.pensioncommission.bm. Began July 2007. For information on private pensions. With links including Employer Information, Employee Information, National Pension Scheme and Act and Regulation. Forms are available online or phone 295-8672 or by e-mail at info@pensioncommission.bm. There is a Pension Commissioner.
Permanent Arbitration Tribunal Labour Relations Act 1975. 
Permanent Police Arbitration Tribunal  
Permanent Police Tribunal Police Act 1974. 
Pharmacy Council Pharmacy and Poisons Amendment Act 1984. 
Police Complaints Authority Police Complaints Authority Act 1998. Invoked when someone complains about a police action or behavior. It received 26 complaints in 2017 and 41 in 2018, according to records shared in response to a public access to information request from The Royal Gazette.
Ports Authority Marine Board Act 1962.
Premier’s Council on Fitness and Nutrition Launched the Premier’s Youth Fitness Programme
Price Control Commission See Cost of Living Commission
Problem Gaming Council 2017. May 2. The Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission has unveiled five Bermudians who will lead the Problem Gaming Council. Former deputy head of the civil service Judith Hall Bean will lead the council as chairman. She will be joined by Ernest Peets Jr, Sharon Apopa, Kevin Monkman and Kathleen Keane. Dr Peets is a long-serving family therapist and counselor, Dr Apopa is the executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, while Mr Monkman was a long-serving civil servant. Mrs Keane, a retired lawyer, will serve as Secretary for the council. Richard Schuetz, the executive director of Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission, said that Ms Hall-Bean would provide the council with a “wealth of public service management experience”, stressing the importance of the council’s role. “One of our primary goals, since the inception of the Commission in 2015, has been to ensure that a Problem Gaming Council was established well before the opening of any casino on the island,” he said. “We are pleased to have finally reached this stage in our progress, as it signals we are ready to move full steam ahead with gaming — and are doing our part to create a strong and successful gaming industry in Bermuda. Most importantly, we are proud with the abundance of talent, skill and experience that each of these council members brings to the table. They will ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to problem gambling and minimizing as much risk as possible to the people of Bermuda.” The council will be tasked with ensuring that casino operators and employees are fully trained about problem gaming, making sure that treatment providers have the resources they require and working to make sure the public is aware of the risks of problem gaming and how to seek help. The Commission is still in the process of recruiting a Director of Problem and Responsible Gaming, who will be appointed on the advice of the council and serve as the conduit between the commission and the council. Their duties will also include overseeing the accreditation process for treatment providers, managing a gambling hotline and a self-exclusion list and community outreach.
Professional Engineers Registration Council The Professional Engineers Registration Act 1972. 
Professional Surveyors Registration Council The Surveyors Registration Act 2001. A full list of professional surveyors in alphabetical order of name with their qualifications and area of specialty, is published every January.
Professions Supplementary to Medicine Council Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973.  
Promotions Board for Bermuda Regiment Defence Act 1965. 
Public Accounts Committee Authorized by the House of Assembly to look at public expenditure. The committee also investigates findings reported by the Auditor-General in the annual and other special reports.
Public Debt Management Advisory Group

Appointed in 2013 by the Minister of Finance. Reviews Bermuda Government borrowing arrangements and practices used to finance ongoing budget deficits. Formation of the group was promised as part of the OBA’s election campaign and Government gets free expertise. It's a group of people involved professionally in the investment industry.

Public Records Committee Bermuda Archives Act 1974. 
Public Service Negotiating Team A Bermuda Government entity . It makes contracts with bodies including the Bermuda Police when renewing their Government contracts.

2018. December 20. Judith Hall-Bean has been appointed chairwoman of the Public Service Negotiation Team. Former chairman Jonathan Smith has stepped down due to work commitments. Minister for the Cabinet Office Walton Brown said: “I anticipate that Mrs Hall-Bean will bring significant expertise and professionalism to the role, having served as lead negotiator for the Government during the course of her career at the most senior levels of the public service. “The public is aware that the PSNT is responsible for leading our union negotiations. I wish to thank Mr Smith for his service to the PSNT and acknowledge his dedication and commitment to the negotiations process. This Government will continue to work with the unions to settle outstanding issues related to the terms and conditions of service whilst simultaneously cultivating improved organizational performance as we work towards a future-forward Government for the people of Bermuda.” Vincent Hollinsid and Orrin Simmons are the other members of the PSNT.

2018. April 6. Jonathan Smith, Vincent Hollinsid, and Orin Simmons have been appointed as the Bermuda Government’s new Public Service Negotiating Team. The group, who replace Gary Phillips, Martin Law and John Harvey, will continue ongoing negotiations with the Prison Officers Association and the Bermuda Police Association. Mr Smith, is a former Progressive Labour Party senator and Commissioner of Police; Mr Hollinsid is a former Chief Fire Officer; Mr Simmons is a former negotiator with the Bermuda Public Services Union. Since the PLP returned to power, Government has completed negotiations with the BPSU, the Fire Services Association, the Bermuda Industrial Union, and made interim agreements with the Bermuda Union of Teachers and the School Principals who are represented by the BPSU. Government reform minister Lovitta Foggo acknowledged the dedication and commitment of the outgoing team. She said: “We are thankful for their hard work in guiding the negotiations to a conclusion. Their work verified for this Government that the application of a negotiations’ model that relies on non-union members to represent the Government’s interest is a reasonable approach. We are grateful to have the services of Mr Smith, Mr Hollinsid and Mr Simmons. They each have a wealth of knowledge and negotiations experience. We very much look forward to seeing the positive results of their engagement with our unions. This Government remains committed to engendering a respect for the workers in the public service. In that regard, we will continue to work with our unions to cultivate improved organizational performance, which will ultimately benefit the Government, the employees, and by extension the people of Bermuda.” Responding, shadow government reform minister Michael Dunkley noted that negotiations were ongoing with the Prison Officers Association and the Bermuda Police Association. He said: “I would have expected in announcing the new negotiating team the minister would have provided a detailed update on the current state of affairs.” Mr Dunkley asked for details on the mandate, terms of reference, payment and length of appointment for the new team. He said: “What are the terms of any settlements reached? Has any harmonization been reached among various union agreements? Providing these answers allows accountability and transparency which this government always talks about.”

2017. November 20. A deal to give government workers a 2.5 per cent pay rise was struck yesterday with the Bermuda Public Services Union. The new three-year collective bargaining agreement was signed between the public sector negotiating team and the BPSU. Lovitta Foggo, Minister of Government Reform, said the deal was “a very important development for the Government and for the BPSU membership. Since coming into office, this government committed to upholding fairness. And with this new CBA, we are fulfilling our promises while demonstrating that we appreciate the good works of our public service. While the negotiation process continues with various other unions, the Government is pleased to highlight the successful completion of the BPSU agreement.” Negotiations have been under way since July. The Government’s offer of a 2.5 per cent pay increase was backdated to the start of April. Ms Foggo thanked the Public Sector Negotiation Team composed of Gary Phillips, Martin Law and John Harvey.Jason Hayward, president of the BPSU and a government senator, said the agreement would operate until September 2020. Mr Hayward said it was the civil service’s first negotiated CBA since 2008 and “a significant milestone for our membership”. He added the increase other contractual gains were “a morale booster for our members, especially after years of sacrifice”. Mr Hayward said: “This agreement was achieved through a collaborative process of interest-based negotiations. The new collective agreement will ensure a working environment where public service officers can focus on providing world-class service both locally and internationally. The agreement also strengthens the BPSU’s working relationship and partnership with the Government and will enhance working conditions for public service officers.”

Public Service Commission Found within the Bermuda Constitution Order 1968 – section 81.
Public Service Superannuation Board Public Service Superannuation Act 1981. 
Public Service Vehicles Licensing Board Motor Car Act 1951. 
Public Transportation Board Public Transportation Board Act 1951. info@ptb.bm
Purchasing and Tendering Committee Ministry of Works & Engineering. 


Regulatory Authority 2019. April 26. The island’s regulator for electricity and electronic communications has extended its call for feedback on new communications licences for one week. The Regulatory Authority consultation period for communication operating licences, as well as integrated communication operating licences, was set to expire today. The deadline has been pushed forward to midnight next Friday, after requests from interested parties, the RA announced. A moratorium on the licences was called off earlier this month by Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, to broaden the island’s telecommunications sector. The authority will pass on policy recommendations to the minister after feedback has been compiled. Comeback can be sent in at consultation@rab.bm.
Register of Audiologists Bermuda Government maintained under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973. A full list is published annually.
Register of Chiropodists Bermuda Government maintained under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Dental Hygienists Bermuda Government maintained under the Dental Hygienists Regulations 1950. A full list every year.
Register of Dental Technicians Bermuda Government maintained under Regulations 2(b) of the Dental Technicians Regulations 1950. A full list every year.
Register of Dental Practitioners Bermuda Government maintained under the Section 6(2) of the Dental Practitioners Act 1950, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Dieticians Bermuda Government maintained under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Emergency Medical Technicians Bermuda Government maintained, registered with the office of the Chief Medical Officer. Some are Bermuda Hospitals Board, others are Bermuda Fire Service. A full list every year.
Register of Medical Laboratory Technologists Bermuda Government maintained under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Medical Practitioners Bermuda Government maintained under Section 6 (2) of the Medical Practitioners Act 1950, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Midwives Bermuda Government maintained under Section 6 (2) of the Midwives Act 1949, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Occupational Therapists Bermuda Government maintained under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Optometrists & Opticians Bermuda Government maintained under Section 4 Part III of the Optometrists and Opticians Act 1973, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Pharmacies Bermuda Government maintained under Part IV Section 17(4) of the Pharmacy & Poisons Act 1979, in alphabetical order. A full list every year.
Register of Pharmacists Section 7 (4) of the Pharmacy & Poisons Act 1979. It shows every currently licensed pharmacist - Bermudian and non-Bermudian - by full first, middle and last name and the year, day and month when entered in the register.
Register of Physiotherapists Bermuda Government maintained under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Psychologists Registrar General, Section 8, Psychological Practitioners Act 1998. A full list every year.
Register of Radiographers Bermuda Government maintained under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Register of Speech-Language Therapists Bermuda Government maintained under the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1973, not in alphabetical order but in order of day of registration so that those earliest currently registered are first and the most recent are last. A full list every year.
Regulatory Authority of Bermuda Regulates electricity, internet, telecommunications and more. 
Rent Increases Advisory Panel Rent Increases (Domestic Premises) Control Act 1978. 
Residential Child Care Advisory Board Protection of Children Act 1943
Review Committee Investment Business Act 1998. 
Road Safety Council No specific legislation
Royal Bermuda Regiment (RBR) Bermuda's military unit. Did not exist until 1965 when it was formed and from then included as one unit, the Bermuda Regiment, in place of the once-segregated black Bermuda Militia Artillery and white Bermuda Rifles. It received royal recognition in 2017.


Salaries Review Board 2015. June 30. Inquiries into the fate of the dormant Salaries Review Board have gone unanswered, despite MPs continuing to debate the issue each year. The independent board, required by law to review the parliamentarians’ pay every two years, is last known to have issued a report nearly seven years ago — even though MPs approved their own pay scales this March. Legislators’ salaries were pegged at the same level for this fiscal year, but have had two cuts since April 2012. The Royal Gazette began questioning the status of the Salaries Review Board in April this year, beginning with Cabinet — only to be referred to the House of Assembly. 
Seniors Advisory Council Established by the Bermuda Government in March 2015 to help to improve the standards of care for the Island’s elderly. The council will be made up of 15 individuals including, Dr John Cann as its chairman and Marian Sherratt as it deputy chairwoman. Minister of Seniors Jeanne Atherden made the announcement. “As a Government, we have an obligation to set policies and plan for the future, and we have a responsibility to ensure that the people who live and work in Bermuda have the knowledge they need to plan for their own future. We need to make sure that today’s young people are prepared for their old age. We don’t want them to be elderly and reliant on the Government for their housing and care. I will be asking the Seniors Advisory Council to work with our government department and our civil servants to develop a comprehensive National Ageing Plan for Bermuda. Part of that plan will, by necessity and as a matter of priority, need to address the issues surrounding long-term care.” The frequency of the council’s meetings will be determined by its members. Mrs Atherden said group would form subcommittees, which will invite the participation of individuals who are not on the council, but have expertise relevant to the subcommittee. “Caring for this growing population of Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers is, even now, putting a strain on caregivers, families and our long-term care facilities. This strain will only get worse in the future, so another of the tasks for the council will be to review the need for and development of what I am calling an Alzheimer’s and dementia care strategy.” The members of the council include Lorraine Beasley, Lauren Bell, Charles Jeffers, Joanne Tucker, Valerie Pethen, Susan Jackson, Winifred Fostine-DeSilva, Sharon Swan, Dr Htay Myint, Rosheena Masters, Judy Canale, Elizabeth Stewart and Jane Collis.
Seniors Law Reform Committee  In 2016 completed a review focused on improving the protection of seniors from financial abuse, with recommendations on amendments to legislation to ensure greater financial and personal protection of seniors.
Spending and Government Efficiency (Sage) Commission See https://sagecommission.bm/. Can also be regarded as the Savings And Government Efficiency Commission.
St. George's Preservation Authority Town of St. George's (Protection of Buildings of Special Interest) Act 1950. 
Scientific Authority for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Endangered Animals and Plants Act 1976. 
School Reorganization Advisory Committee (Score) 2016. January 19. Parental anxieties fuelled by rumours over possible school closures have influenced the latest public school application figures, according to one principal, Romelle Warner, who led this committee. Reports to Minister of Education.
Special Courts Panel No specific legislation
Stamp Design Advisory Committee Bermuda Constitution Order 1968, Section 61. 
Standing Medical Board Pension and Gratuities (War Service) Act 1947. All surviving beneficiaries of such pensions are senior citizens. 
Sustainable Development Roundtable (SDR) c/o Ministry of the Environment. First introduced in April 2005. Its primary role is to advise the Cabinet on a sustainable future for the country in areas of economics, the environment and culture. Premier Ewart Brown unveiled his Sustainable Development Roundtable (SDR) members in March 2007 but also revealed that he won’t ask the group to weigh in on the controversial Southlands Special Development Order (SDO) on the Southlands issue. Dr. Brown’s panel is 13 members, five fewer than the panel of his predecessor Alex Scott. Seven of the members are new and six are from the previous Roundtable. Among those not invited back is environmentalist Stuart Hayward, who, since leaving the Government advisory committee, has become an outspoken opponent of the Southlands bid for an SDO.


Tax Appeal Tribunal Panel Taxes Management Act 1976. 
Tax Convention Advisory Committee USA-Bermuda Taxes Management Act 1986. 
Tax Information Exchange Portal 2017. June 16. The Bermuda Government has created a new portal that meets the island’s obligations under automatic exchange of tax information agreements. Bob Richards, the Minister of Finance, said the Tax Information Reporting Portal was essential for the island to adhere to international compliance standards and to protect its status as a financial centre. The new portal will enable overseas tax authorities to access tax information on individuals and multinational companies and was borne out of international agreements designed to clamp down on tax dodging. “Today’s launch of Bermuda’s automatic exchange of information (AEOI) portal is a milestone in protecting Bermuda as a leading international financial centre,” Mr Richards said. “It is impossible to remain a viable centre in today’s compliance climate without conforming to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development AEOI regime, especially as it is required by both the European Union and the G20 to meet their standard for international co-operation on tax matters.” The new rules mandate how countries collect information on the financial account information of individuals and also operations of multinational companies, to the benefit of interested tax authorities. The new portal confirms the island is meeting its obligations under the OECD CRS (Common Reporting Standard) and OECD CbC (Country-by-Country) AEOI regimes. “Bermuda is an AEOI Early Adopter jurisdiction, meaning that Bermuda’s portal will receive year 2016 CRS and year 2016 CBC information from Bermuda persons and share the information with all countries that are also AEOI Early Adopters for year 2016 CRS and CBC information,” Mr Richards said. “Many of the large countries are latecomers by only collecting and sharing under the OECD AEOI regime starting with either year 2017 information or year 2018 information. This includes some of the EU, G20 and OECD countries — some of the very countries promoting these very standards.” The Ministry of Finance statement added: “Bermuda is the first UK Overseas Territory to join the OECD Base Erosion Profit Shifting committee known as the Inclusive Framework. Bermuda has also initiated renegotiation of all four of its double-taxation agreements to revise them to the standard articulated by the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS.” Reporting persons can now access Bermuda’s Tax Information Reporting Portal at www.gov.bm
Tax Reform Commission 2018. December 8. A more efficient Government could emerge alongside changes to the tax system in efforts to shore up the public purse, MPs heard last night. It was hoped a balance would be struck between trying to increase income while also cutting costs. Legislators debated the Report of the Tax Reform Commission 2018, which put forward a series of proposals that could boost government revenues by $147 million over two to three years. It came after a seven-member bipartisan group was tasked with carrying out a “thorough review” of the island’s tax regime after a 2017 Throne Speech pledge by the Progressive Labour Party administration. The group was asked to find ways to increase public sector revenue from 17 per cent of GDP to a minimum of 20 to 22 per cent and determine any steps that could be taken to allow for a more equitable system. Its report, which took nine months to compile, proposed new taxes along with reforms to existing taxes. Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, told the House of Assembly he continued to review the recommendations and had not yet made any decision on which of those would be implemented. He said the challenges included a net debt of approximately $2.45 billion, an ageing population, increasing healthcare costs and an economy that is progressing “slowly”. Members heard the ministry aimed for a “balanced approach” that looked at revenue increases but also made Government more efficient. Mr Dickinson told the House there was “widespread support” for more effective tax collection and said his team was exploring ways to offer greater support to the “under resourced” Office of the Tax Commissioner. He added: “I believe the best way to resolve our fiscal challenges is to grow our economy through the creation of more well-paying jobs. A growing economy leads to a broader tax base with more participants and through the law of averages an ability to spread our tax burden across a broader number of people. While remaining mindful of the important and significant contributions that big business makes to our economy, we need to continue to work on policies that help entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses to thrive.” Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the Opposition’s finance spokeswoman in the House, said the Governments was “not in the business” of being profit making organisations. She continued: “What we would expect to see in the choices that are made is that Government will make the necessary selection from the recommendations that would balance our budget. We’re not looking for a whole lot of extra money, we’re not looking for money that on the backs of the taxpayers will go to grow a burgeoning Government, that is not the intent.” Ms Gordon-Pamplin said it was important not to have “an assault on the taxpayer” and highlighted the need for Government to understand its responsibility to reduce costs. She voiced reservations about taxation of passive income as there are a “significant number” of seniors who rely on such funds, and said the Government needed to be careful when adjusting payroll tax to make sure it did not become a disincentive for growth. Wayne Furbert, Junior Minister of Finance, said the focus of the report was to find ways to make Bermuda’s tax system fairer. Mr Furbert said: “We have to accept on both sides that the tax system that we have is not equitable or fair. If we can accept that, then we can move on to how can we make it equitable.” He added that Government should not rely solely on cutting expenditure to balance the budget, reminding the House of the furore caused by the One Bermuda Alliance’s use of furlough days to reduce costs. Craig Cannonier, Opposition leader, said the Government needed to consider how it could help the island’s struggling retail sector, which employs more Bermudians than any area other than Government. Mr Cannonier said: “Businesses are struggling in the economy we have now. We feel that the taxation system is unfair and far behind where it should be.” He said retailers often have difficulty with cash flow because they have to pay taxes on items when they come to the island rather than at sale. Mr Cannonier said this is particularly a burden on small and medium sized businesses, along with those trying to enter the retail sector. He added that immigration must also play a part in revitalizing the economy. Scott Pearman, the Shadow Minister of Legal Affairs, was among several MPs who noted that the Commission was not asked to directly address Government spending. He said the “lion’s share” of the recommendations were four new taxes — a rental tax, a general services tax, a tax on interest and dividends and what he called “an outsourcing tax”, which would apply to services contracted out by local companies to foreign service providers. Mr Pearman claimed that aside from the rental tax, none of the four were easily calculable or collectable. He added: “These proposals at their heart mean more tax on Bermudians when there are less Bermudians to pay them. We need to attract more people to this island, not chase them away with higher taxation.” David Burt, the Premier, thanked the Tax Reform Commission members and said the review was about “making our tax system more fair and more balanced”. He continued: “What I hear is that there’s one side, which is protecting the status quo, and there’s another side that wants to change things to make sure that we lower taxes for workers, lower taxes for the low income people and possibly tax those persons who may be a little bit more wealthy, whose income has never been subject to taxation.”

2018. February 15. The Tax Reform Commission is facing a difficult but achievable challenge, according to new chairman Ronald Simmons. Mr Simmons, a former director of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, said he was honored by the opportunity to serve as chairman. He said: “The Premier has selected a great team of distinguished individuals. Given the numerous risks, uncertainties and challenges facing our economy, we have a lot of work to accomplish. However, I am confident we will be able to provide the Premier and the Government recommendations for comprehensive tax reform that is equitable, efficient, effective, transparent and fair, while enhancing Bermuda’s global competitiveness.” David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, unveiled the members of the bipartisan commission yesterday. The commission, designed to make Bermuda’s tax system fairer, stimulate economic activity and create jobs for Bermudians, was one of the Progressive Labour Party’s General Election pledges. Mr Burt said: “I think the work of the Tax Reform Commission will go a long way in dealing with some of the biggest challenges which we have. Our system of taxation creates inequality by its very nature and structure and our over reliance on payroll tax at the same time discourages job creation in Bermuda. We have to balance those aspects and I’m quite certain that this diverse team will be able to look at the issues that we have and will be able to arrive at recommendations that will help Bermuda.” In addition to Mr Simmons, the commission will include Jeanne Atherden, the Opposition leader, and Wayne Furbert, the Junior Minister of Finance. Other commissioners include Donald Scott, a former Cabinet Secretary, Mitch Blaser, chief operating officer of Ironshore Inc, Craig Simmons, Bermuda College economics lecturer, and Brian Holdipp, senior corporate lawyer at MJM Ltd. Mr Burt said: “These commissioners have a mammoth task ahead of them, but I am confident they are up to the challenge. As promised, this commission has representation from both political parties and a cross-section of expertise in Bermuda’s economy.” He said he believed the commission would be fair, and that he looked forward to receiving its report in six months.

Technical Advisory Panel Motor Car Act 1951.
Telecommunications Commission Telecommunications Act 1986. 
Transport Planning Team 2018. April 16. A total of 2,365 people completed the Government survey for the Green Paper on Transportation. The Transport Survey on public transportation, which includes elements of road safety, also sought direct input from some 70 stakeholders. The Ministry of Transport and Regulatory Affairs is now moving to its next phase of broad public consultation in advance of new policy decisions. The next public input will be a Pro-Action Café which will include input from environmentalists, community leaders, stakeholder groups and members of the general public who completed the survey. The exercise is designed to leverage the collective intelligence of the group. Deputy Premier and transport minister Walter Roban said he was extremely pleased with the amount of people who took the time to complete the survey, estimated to take about 15 minutes, on the Government portal over the four weeks of the exercise. Mr Roban said: “It has to be one of the most successful online surveys run by the Government and consultation has reached out even further. We are determined to get a broad understanding of public wishes before embarking on any plan to change the state of transportation in Bermuda. But something must be done and we expect to begin making substantive changes this year to improve the quality of life in Bermuda with regard to transportation. Before we move on to another exciting phase of this initiative, it is important that I convey how grateful I am that so many took the 15 to 20 minutes necessary to participate in this important survey. Bermuda faces a litany of challenges when it comes to transportation. And the Government may propose a series of changes that will alter some aspects of how any of us get from point A to B in the future. But right now we are listening and we will continue to do that with a survey planned for students, and, another forum that will allow public input.” The Transport Planning Team has also heard from visitors, tourism industry stakeholders, and will have to go through a large number of written submissions sent directly to the Ministry. Separate to the priority list of solutions, the Ministry will be making decisions shortly on outstanding matters which include those related to minicars and minibuses.
Treatment of Offenders Board No specific legislation
Top Level Domain Committee Ministry of Telecommunications & E-Commerce. 
Tourism Board Bermuda Constitution Order 1968, Section 61. 
Trucks Advisory Committee Motor Car Act 1951. 
Veterinary Practitioners Council (VPC) Established by the Veterinary Practitioners Act 2008 which states that overseas practitioners must either be a member of the UK's Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, or hold a 'valid licence' in the US, Canada, European Union or Caribbean Economic Community to qualify. VPC promotes standards with a code of conduct, with powers to investigate all allegations of professional misconduct. It will examine the qualifications of overseas vets applying to practice here. In the past, the profession had only been governed by a short section of the Agriculture Act 1930 which was inadequate. There is now an annual register of vets to be published and re-registration will be required every three years to ensure vets keep up to date with latest standards. The register also bars those not on it from treating sick and injured animals, under penalty of a $5,000 fine or six months' imprisonment. Veterinary certificate holders under the Agriculture Act 1930 will automatically qualify for the register.


Wage Commission 2019. July 31. The creation of a minimum wage for Bermuda took a step closer on Monday as legislation to set up a group that will consider pay rates was passed by senators. A six-strong Wage Commission will recommend a minimum hourly wage and a living wage as part of a bid to protect workers from low pay. The Employment (Wage Commission) Act 2019 said a living wage rate was the “amount of income necessary to afford an employee and his household a socially acceptable standard of living” and covered food, clothing, housing, medical treatment, childcare and transport. James Jardine, an independent senator, said there were “many studies and articles” about the advantages of the introduction of a minimum wage as well as its possible economic drawbacks. He said: “My own view on this complex subject is there can be real benefits to those who remain employed after the implementation of a minimum wage regime and that the possible economic downsides depend entirely on the country in which the minimum wage is being implemented, its own economic circumstances and, probably more importantly and just as key, the level at which the minimum wage is set.” Mr Jardine added he supported the establishment of a wage commission. He said: “The level that is set for the minimum wage will determine what impact it has on the cost of living. It will impact, probably going forward, not so much for the existing jobs, but for job creation; it will impact the jobs that may or may not be created in the future.” Nick Kempe, the One Bermuda Alliance Senate Leader, said it was difficult to understand what the effect of a living wage would have on different groups of people and what impact there might be on jobs held by foreign workers at the lower end of the pay scale. He asked: “If a certain wage was raised, would that all of a sudden entice Bermudians to work in those industries? Would it simply be increasing the amount of cash sent overseas for people that are able to essentially reduce their cost of living in Bermuda as they’re looking for economic opportunity and this kind of thing? There’s a clear distinction between exploitation and people who choose to, say, bunk as an adult because their spouses or children are back home, and that’s a beneficial, short-term economic position for them.” Anthony Richardson, a Progressive Labour Party senator, pointed out there was a “human element” to the wage commission debate. He said: “The reality is that the cost of fuel, food, vehicles, electricity, bank fees and all the rest of it, they are the same for all of us, irrespective of how much money we may earn.” Dwayne Robinson, an OBA senator, said he was concerned about the impact of a statutory wage regime on small businesses. Vance Campbell, of the PLP, said an education campaign should be mounted for people who will benefit from pay increases, to help make sure any additional funds were spent, for example, on bills they were struggling to pay rather than trips. Jason Hayward, the PLP senator who moved for the Bill’s approval in the Upper House, said: “I don’t think what we will find is the commission setting an unreasonable wage that creates an undue burden on business. While we remain concerned about business interests, our priority of concern should be the workers, the people who work nine to five, day after day, and can’t make ends meet.” Senators passed the Bill without objection yesterday. They also approved the Public Service Superannuation Amendment Act 2019 to raise the mandatory retirement age for public service workers from 65 to 68. It will not affect police officers, firefighters, prison officers, Bermuda Regiment soldiers or teachers. Senators also passed the Fund Administration Provider Business Act 2019, which was designed to provide greater consistency to how fund managers carry out their roles and how they are supervised by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

2019. July 22. MPs have approved setting up a commission to look at the creation of a minimum wage. Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport, said that the purpose of a minimum wage was to “protect workers against unduly low pay”. She added: “The days of Bermudians being able to pick and choose jobs are gone. The current economic climate puts the demand-and-supply equation for labour in the employer’s favour. Unskilled workers now have to compete for jobs and exploitation of workers is occurring.” Ms Foggo, speaking in the House on Friday night, highlighted a job advertisement this year that had looked to hire a live-in caregiver. The post offered pay of $10 an hour, less room and board, for a 60-hour week. She added that the employee was also expected to be on call seven nights a week. Ms Foggo said: “I think that we can all agree that this embodies the term ‘exploitation’.” The Employment (Wage Commission) Act 2019 will create a six-strong Wage Commission made up of a chairman and five members. It will also include two ex officio members from the ministries responsible for labour and finance. Its main function will be the recommendation of a minimum hourly wage and a living wage. The Act defined a living wage rate as the “amount of income necessary to afford an employee and his household a socially acceptable standard of living” and covered food, clothing, housing, medical treatment, childcare and transport. Ms Foggo said that the chairman would be paid $100 a meeting and members would be paid $50 a meeting. Leah Scott, the deputy Opposition leader, said that the Bill was a “step in the right direction”. She said: “People should be able to live with dignity and they should be paid for the jobs that they do.” Ms Scott, a member of the parliamentary joint select committee on the establishment of a living wage, said that the cost of living on the island also had to be looked at. She explained: “You can’t have wages go up and other things are going up at the same time.” Ms Scott said that business input on the wages was also essential. Rolfe Commissiong, also a committee member, said that the Bill showed Bermudians that “help is on the way”. He added: “This is not going to solve all of our problems — but certainly this is going to offer some relief and benefit to those who have been struggling with low-level, even poverty-level wages in our country.” Mr Commissiong, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher, said that both Bermudians and non-Bermudians would benefit. He added that Bermudians should “stop pointing the finger” at non-Bermudians that worked in low-paying jobs. Mr Commissiong said: “They are trying to support their families back home. Let’s put the focus on the systemic problem which has precipitated this ... and focus on those unscrupulous employers who have been very happy to be reaping those profits.” Derrick Burgess, the Deputy Speaker, said that he took exception to the exploitation of workers, “particularly the workers from overseas”. He added: “We shouldn’t be allowed modern-day slavery in terms of what they are paid in Bermuda.” Jeanne Atherden, a One Bermuda Alliance backbencher, questioned the use of the phrase “socially acceptable standard of living” to define the living wage rate. She asked: “How does one define what is a socially acceptable standard of living? That depends on who you are and what you think.” Ms Foggo said that Bermuda was “clearly behind the times”. She added: “Today, we are on the road to making a living wage a reality for Bermuda. Our people deserve to live with dignity, they deserve to enjoy decent work, and a part of that is to provide for a living wage. This legislation will make it happen.”

Waiver Assistance Programme For affected and needy Bermudians
War Veterans Pensions Commission (WVPC) A group made up of former military members. Unlike veterans in other countries, Bermuda pays a pension only to those who served overseas. In 2019 they submitted a proposal to increase the monthly benefit from $800 to $1,000.
West End Development Corporation (WEDCo) A Bermuda Government quango. Set up in 1982 to manage and develop 214 acres of Government-owned land in the West End, including Watford Island, Boaz Island, Ireland Island South and North, the small islands forming the Crawl off Ireland South and the North and South basins and breakwaters. Revenue is generated from residential and commercial tenants plus berthing fees from the commercial and cruise ship docks. West End Corporation Act 1982. P. O. Box MA 415, Mangrove Bay, MA BX. 
War Veterans Pensions Commission (WVPC) A group of former military members. In 2019 they recommended that the monthly pension paid to war veterans be increased from $800 to $1,000.
Waterfront Task Force Established by the Premier in 2005. It includes members from the private sector, Corporation of St. George's, West End Development Corporation (Wedco) and Corporation of Hamilton. For the six months the Corporation of Hamilton declined to participate on the Task Force. It was made clear that in the future the number of cruise ships in Hamilton and St. George's would decrease and the opportunity would exist to redevelop the waterfronts at each port.
Water Safety Council Ministry of Transport.

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