Author: Bahamas Post

Freeport and Tax Concessions: The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (“HCA”)

By Terence Gape I have read with interest Carey Leonard’s Article which appeared in the Tribune of the 11th and the Guardian of the 12th instant. In his Article, Carey espoused the immediate extension by Government of the expiring Tax Concessions under the HCA in order “to create Bahamian jobs.” While we all agree that the creation of jobs is the ultimate and immediate goal of any negotiations or consideration over the renewal of the Tax Exemptions, it must also be agreed that because of the ineptitude and/or gross mis-management by the Families and DevCo (Families and Hutchison) over...

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Citizens for a Better Bahamas Recommendations for Freedom of Information Bill

A committee formed by the non-partisan civil society organization, Citizens for a Better Bahamas, has reviewed the government’s proposed Freedom of Information Bill and recommended a score of improvements. The draft Bill was published in May by Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald, the cabinet minister who is responsible enactment. The Bill will supersede the 2012 Freedom of Information Act passed just before the general election, but never put into force by the current government. Freedom of Information laws seek to give citizens a legal right of access to government information, subject to certain qualifications. Most countries in the region already have such laws in place, which experts say help to improve trust in government by ensuring transparency and accountability. A previous critique by the Centre for Law and Democracy based in Halifax, Canada, said that while the revised Bill had some modest improvements, it still failed to meet international standards in many respects. One of the key recommendation in the CBB review is to strengthen the independence of the information commissioner, who will administer the Act. The draft Bill outlines a familiar process, with the commissioner appointed to a five-year term by the governor-general on the advice of the prime minister after consultation with the opposition leader. The CBB review says the information commissioner “should be appointed through measures independent of the government as far as possible, such as the...

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The Next Evolution in Property Development

A recently returned player to the property development game is showing what may be the new way to conceive projects. FREEPORT, Bahamas, March 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Property development has changed significantly, especially in the last 15 years, with the formula of pre-construction offerings, high-energy sales and big marketing budgets. Buyers clamour to get a piece of property well before any real foundations are laid, suiting both developers and their bankers perfectly, in fact property developers that don’t proceed this way are often squeezed out of the market by rising holding costs and a finance market that gets more demanding and protective of its cash. In effect the old formula of “design, build, sell” has now been flipped into “sell, design, build.” Steve Bell, originally from Australia, evolved from construction, design, and property development into one of the world’s powerhouses of 3D services for property – Archiform 3D. Focused on flexibility, and leveraging staggering computer processing power, Bell found a niche for taking on unusual projects and delivering big, ensuring his association with many of the world’s most ambitious ventures. So where does a guy who reached the top of his field go next? In this case it’s backwards, although in a good way – back to property. Bell seeks to show what the combination of a full 3D and virtual approach has on projects and has partnered up...

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