09.28.07

Seychellois Government may outsource ICT Jobs

Posted in Seychelles government at 11:40 am by Robert Klien

As a result of the restructuring undertaken by the government that has been described previously, the Seychelles’ public sector workforce in the sphere of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can essentially shrink.

Recently, Jacquelin Dugasse, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, said that the Ministry is going to outsource most projects to the private sector. According to the Minister, this is a good opportunity for young professionals to apply their trade in the private sector or even to establish their own businesses.

However, several developers, programmers, analysts, designers, administrators and technicians are the ICT specialists who could lose their employment with the government. In the last 4 weeks 57 employees, including ICT specialists have been made redundant.

The official from a chamber of commerce commented that despite the fact that the Seychelles is already dependent on foreign expertise in the ICT fields, qualified local talents are being made redundant.

09.20.07

Restructuring of the Seychellois government announced by President Michel

Posted in Seychelles government, SIBA at 11:14 pm by Robert Klien

According to a restructuring of the government announced by President James Michel, the number of ministries  was on reduced from 10 to 8.

President Michel said that in his State-of-the-Nation Address on March 20 and on National Day on June 18 he was speaking about the necessity to transform the way things are done in Seychelles.

In his address on June 18, President Michel also announced the restructuring of the government. So, after a long period of reflection, he announced the reorganization. According to him, the following portfolios have taken effect:

Rolph Payet is appointed in the Office of the President as president’s special advisor for Environment. He also became chairman of the newly established Foundation for Seychelles University.

Lucy Athanasius became the principal secretary (PS) for “Special Duties”, which includes a new project “Young Leaders”.

Jean-Paul Adam is the principal secretary in the Office of the President dealing with a new portfolio for the exploration of oil.

Principal secretary Marie-Ange Hoareau continues to deal with Internal Affairs, but in the Office of the Vice-President (VP).

Jessie Esparon is the new Principal secretary for Public Administration.

The Seychelles Tourism Board under the direction of Maurice Loustau-Lalanne will discharge the responsibilities of the Department of Tourism.

Minister Danny Faure retains the portfolio for Finance consisting of 3 departments with Ahmed Afif as the PS for Finance and Commerce, Lekha Nair being responsible for the Treasury Department as the Comptroller General. The budget and government spending will be controlled by the department.

The Tax office will work under Steve Jardin. It is being restructured to be the Revenue Authority to allow government to collect revenue in an efficient and centralized way.

The Minister for Finance will continue to be in charge of the Licensing Authority, Social Security and the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA). Steve Fanny will become chief executive of SIBA.

Patrick Pillay will continue to be the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Callixte d’Offay will be his new PS to replace Claude Morel who will become Ambassador in Paris.

The Ministry of Investment, Industries and Technology replaced by the Ministry of National Development will work under Minister Jacquelin Dugasse, and Veronique Herminie will become the PS for Investment, Land Use and Industries. Christian Lionnet becomes the PS for Housing. Benjamin Choppy remains PS for Information, Communication and Technology.

Jones Belmont becomes the chief executive of the Planning Authority, and Patrick Lablache will be consultant for reclamation work.

The Ministry of Community Development and Youth will be called the Ministry of Community Development, Youth, Sports and Culture. Its Minister will be Vincent Meriton. Olsen Vidot will continue to be PS for Community Development, while Denis Rose now will be PS for Youth, Sports and Culture. The position of the chief executive officer of the National Sports Council will be taken by Alain Volcere.

The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Transport will be headed by Joel Morgan, while Didier Dogley becomes the PS for Environment, Walter Talma remains PS for Natural Resources and Gerard Lafortune remains PS for Transport.

Minister Bernard Shamlaye remains responsible for the Ministry of Education. Jeanne Simeon remains PS for Education.

A new Ministry of Employment and Human Resources Development will be headed by Macsuzy Mondon, andh Jean Ragain will be PS. Also, Mondon will be the chairperson of the new Human Resources Development Council.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development will be formed to be headed by Marie-Pierre Lloyd. Anne Lafortune will be the PS for Social Development, Marie-Antoinette Alexis will be special adviser to the minister and Dr Jude Gedeon – PS for Health.

President Michel said that the restructuring is already under way, and that ministers have one month to work on it.

09.14.07

Seychelles pursues assets of drug traffickers

Posted in Seychelles government, Seychelles legislation at 3:12 pm by Robert Klien

President James Michel recently said that Seychelles law is being amended in order to allow to seize the assets of suspected drug traffickers.

Having marked one year in office, the President said that Seychelles has experienced significant growth during the year, however, there has also been an increase in substance abuse among the county’s population.

So, President Michel emphasized the necessity “to tackle the problem caused by those who are importing drugs”. According to him, certain laws are being amended in order to impound the assets of people dealing with drug trafficking.

The President said that apart from this problem, things have gone well for the country with the level of growth of 5.3%, which is an increase of 1.2% from the previous year. He also shared the expectations of 7.5% growth this year.

It is important that the President of Seychelles has raised the question of dealing with drug traffickers as drug trafficking goes hand-in-hand with money laundering, which might harm the reputation of Seychelles as a respectable offshore centre.

09.07.07

Barclays Bank cited Seychelles as an example of good money laundering control in offshore banks

Posted in Offshore Services, Seychelles banking, Seychelles offshore jurisdiction at 6:42 pm by Robert Klien

The license to operate as an offshore bank in Ghana has been recently given to Barclays Bank of Ghana.

According to Bank of Ghana’s policy, only reputable and internationally active banks are licensed to operate in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). On August 28, 2007, the Central Bank issued its 1st General Banking Licence to Barclays Bank of Ghana Limited, a fully-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC. Now, Barclays Bank can operate as an offshore bank.

The General Banking Licence allows Barclays Bank of Ghana Limited to operate the first banking business under the International Banking component of the IFSC.

The IFFSC will have a full range of non-bank financial services, and is a part of a comprehensive financial sector development programme.

It is well-known that offshore banking is often associated with the hidden economy and organized crime related to through money laundering. However, Barclays Bank of Ghana and the Bank of Ghana have assured the residents of the country that they are able to check it.

Offshore banks are usually located in a low-tax jurisdictions, outside the country of residence of the depositor, called tax havens, and therefore have both financial and legal advantages such as strong privacy, low or no taxation, less restrictive legal regulation, protection against local political or financial instability and easy access to deposits.

Having offshore banking is beneficial for the country as it could increase foreign investments into Ghana, create a number of jobs, increase, revenue for government, strengthen the financial sector as well as transfer skills to Ghanaians.

At a workshop on offshore banking organized for the media, Ms. Catherine Addo of Barclays Bank cited Seychelles as an example of good offshore banking. She said that the strict control measures that are used for offshore banking branches in Seychelles and Mauritius would be applied also in Ghana. These measures include the usage of the World Checking System to double check clients’ background.

Head of Banking Supervision of the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Dela Selormey, said that also the Financial Services Authority in London would extend its surveillance into Ghana. He stated that when the Money Laundering Bill is passed into law by parliament in 2007 the measures would be strengthened.

It is good that Seychelles is considered to be a respectable offshore jurisdiction that might serve as a good example for other countries.