Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 03, 2015 (SKNIS): The Government of National Unity has embarked on a number of structural changes for the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, said Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris during his monthly press conference, on November 03, 2015. He addressed a number of changes that were a part of the agenda of reform undertaken by his Government after taking office in February, 2015.
The prime minister said that his Government sought to reform the organization of the CBI Unit and that these reforms have proven to be beneficial in the Unit’s operations.
“New members of staff have been judiciously selected to enhance the capacity and capability of the Unit to deliver excellent service,” Prime Minister Harris said, noting that this includes the delivery of “services competently and professionally at all the times.”
Prime Minister Harris also noted that “a new management cadre is identifiable for the first time,” pointing to the fact that “skills set in immigration, finance, international banking, customer service, taxation, and money laundering, are now at the Unit’s command. A new sense of focus and confidence has emerged.”
The Federation’s prime minister disclosed that changes in the Unit will be continuous as “ongoing training is now being imbedded in the culture at the CBI Unit.” According to Prime Minister Harris, reform was not confined to changes in the staff of the Unit. He indicated that a new case management system, the first of its kind in the region, was recently introduced to service providers.
Speaking specifically about the new case management system, Prime Minister Harris said that the “case management system puts us above all other programmes with its capacity for service providers to interact with our Unit 24 hours/7 days per week. This system was formally presented to interested parties at a meeting at the St. Kitts Marriott Hotel on Friday, October, 16, 2015.”
Dr. Harris disclosed that his Government had made significant strides towards attaining 19 of 20 recommendations made by ISPA a reality.
He also indicated that “a technical committee was established to address issues of denial,” adding that, “the committee meets regularly and is comprised of Osbert DeSuza, Karen Hughes, Tevince Coker, Cecile Jeffers, Michael Penny and Orin Roberts.” He also noted that all members have agreed to give of their services free of cost.
The Prime Minister said that while the programme has not yet fully recovered, he is optimistic that the future of the programme will be bright.
“We have rescued our CBI programme from the valley of dry bones,” Prime Minister Harris declared. “We are regaining the confidence of the world and though not fully out of the woods, we can breathe easy again. Our programme is doing legitimate business. We are still the largest processor of applications in the region.”