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					N
     CARIBBEAN ORGANISATION
               OF
E      TAX ADMINISTRATORS

W   ISSUE NO. 29                 June-December 2005            ISSN 1024-7017


                              IN THIS ISSUE

S                                EDITORIAL

                   Extract of Statement by Secretary-General
                    of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
L
                           EXECUTIVE COUNCIL DESK

E                        19TH General Assembly and Technical Conference
                                Integration and Trade Liberalisation
                                     COTA Essay Competition


T                           COUNTRY UPDATES

                                     Belize
                              Trinidad and Tobago

T
                               KEEP IN STEP

                        CARICOM Nationals Certificate
E                           CARICOM UPDATES
                        COTA’s Work Programme 2006-2008

R
                        Regional Video Conferencing Project
                                     EDITORIAL




                                    CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters,

As the regional integration initiative, the CARICOM single Market and Economy (CSME), falls into
place, the Secretary General of the Community commends the efforts made so far and calls on
people, leaders and administrators alike to fulfill their roles and obligations. The free movement
of the factors of production is one area to which tax administrators in particular must pay
attention. Results may be significant increases in tax administration from arrival of migrant skilled
workers in certain terriitories as has occurred in the United Kingdom with the advent of the
European Union. Tax Administrations in CARICOM must therefore be fully prepared for these
developments.

EXTRACT OF STATEMENT BY SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE CARIBBEAN
COMMUNITY (CARICOM), H.E. EDWIN W. CARRINGTON, ON THE OCCASION OF THE
FORMAL LAUNCH OF THE CARICOM SINGLE MARKET, 30 JANUARY 2006, KINGSTON,
JAMAICA
                                             essence of Community – the co-mingling of
… I welcome you to the historically          its peoples – its greatest assets.
unprecedented higher level of regional
integration - that is, the CARICOM Single    For, important as the regime for the
Market - to which the people of the          production of, and trade in goods has
Caribbean Community have now arrived.        been in the integration process, and
                                             indeed, will continue to be, the Single
…It is truly a new dawn, long hoped for, but Market brings most centrally into the
well worth the waiting. A journey that began integration process – people -
over a generation ago by the Founding        particularly by providing for the free
Fathers of CARIFTA and guided from those     movement of skilled CARICOM nationals,
earliest times by such intrepid visionary    of providers of services, of the self-
regionalists as William Demas, Alister       employed and of those establishing
McIntyre and Shridath Ramphal.               businesses. The Single Market regime is,
                                             therefore, as we commonly say, “a horse of
The arrival of the Single Market has         a different colour.”
generated a great torrent of expectation
across the Region. It is an achievement, the Ladies and Gentlemen, at the conclusion of
great significance of which cannot be        that historic 1989 Grand Anse Meeting, at
overstated. Its substance involves the very  which it was agreed to “let all ideas
                                             contend” as then Prime Minister A.N.R
                                                                                                   2
Robinson of Trinidad and Tobago                        take advantage of the process. By the
maintained, the Heads of Government                    middle of last week, for example, according
declared that they were “moved by the need             to a report from one Member State, more
to work expeditiously together to deepen the           than 2,000 applications had been received
integration process and strengthen the                 for the Caribbean Skills Certificate - an
Caribbean Community in all of its                      important instrument for the process of the
dimensions to respond to the challenges                free movement of skilled workers. And the
and opportunities presented by the changes             Single Market is only 30 days old!
in the global economy.” That is what the
Single Market and the Single Economy to                In this situation, the onus is on our
come, are intended to do. That imperative,             political, business and administrative
so clearly foreseen by them then, remains              leadership to ensure that the great
no less urgent in today’s world, one which             expectations unleashed are met. This is
presents us as small developing countries              nowhere more evident than among our
with the stark choice - integrate or perish.           young citizens mainly for whom and through
                                                       whom this venture must be successfully
This bold and visionary step into a deeper             realised. We all need to be critically aware
integration process, one which so far only             of what the late Michael Manley called “the
the European Union has trodden, has                    nature of the historic locomotive that rushes
certainly fired the imagination and raised the         upon us.” We must be fully prepared for
expectations of the people of our                      it.
Community. Since the coming into being of
the Single Market on 1st January, people
from numerous walks of life have been
seeking information about how they can
                                                 ***




3
                              EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
                                    DESK

        CARIBBEAN ORGANISATION OF TAX ADMINISTRATIONS (COTA)
          19th GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND TECHNICAL CONFERENCE
                     SAINT LUCIA, 24-27 JULY 2006

THEME:        Options for Building Strong Economies through Innovative Tax
              Policies and Administration

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the Caribbean Organisation of Tax
Administrators (COTA) will be conducting the 19th COTA General Assembly and Technical
Conference in St. Lucia from 24-27 July 2006.

The objective of the Conference is to present and deliberate on innovations in Taxation that are
relevant to the small economies of the Caribbean towards informing fiscal policy reform in the
region and improving the effectiveness and contributions of national tax systems.

The Administrative Session of the Assembly will consider proposals to enhance the functioning
and membership of COTA, examine projects for 2006-2007 and agree on the priority activities
for implementation in 2006-2007. The theme for the technical sessions is Options for Building
Stronger Economies through Innovative Tax Policies an Administration.

A special Symposium on Regional Training of Tax managers is also proposed.

In accordance with the theme of the Conference various topics are to be addressed.
Some of these include the following:-

Topics For discussion at the 19th COTA General Assembly and Technical Conference

    •   Taxing the Tourism Sector

    As early as 2001, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation recognised Tourism as a key
strategic export industry and the creation of a tax policy as a necessary part of developmental
tool in overall tourism policy. Some Issues that can be considered for implementation include
 International Trade in tourism services and multi-national enterprises- straddling national
boundaries and tax jurisdictions.
Tax incentives/concessions granted to foreign investors in the Tourism sector.
Tax on Environment,
Taxation of Gaming and Entertainment,
Transportation with consideration of taxes e.g. fuel surcharge, Cruise ship/port fees/ tax,
Property Tax relating to foreign ‘seasonal visitors’ owning private property,
Visitors Rebate programme an incentive to tourism, and
Tourism and SMEs concerning treatment of small enterprises of craft, souvenir shops and travel
agents



    •   Taxation of E-commerce business, Call Centers and Internet cafes


4
E-commerce –related activities are expected to expand and develop as Caribbean
Governments move to facilitate an e-commerce environment. Because of the nature of internet
transactions there may be unreported income from these sources. The potential for tax evasion
through e-commerce can be significant. E-trade carries substantial mobility for the entrepreneur.
Businesses may be tempted to locate in low and nil taxed jurisdictions; it is likely that the tax
base can be eroded.
In the global context the growth of e-commerce has highlighted the differences between the tax
systems of the world and is fueling a movement to harmonize tax rules.. Such concerns
necessitate changes in tax planning, policy and administration for both direct and indirect
taxation.

    •    Current Directions in Tax Policy and Tax Administration with regard to
         Globalisation
Changes in the global economy are expected to be accompanied by changes in the revenue
base. There may be almost no revenue from border taxes (customs duties) as a result of trade
liberalization. As members of the FTAA and free trade ‘partners’ with the European Union, the
actual phase out of tariffs will depend on the rate of reduction negotiated in FTAA and EPA
negotiations. In addition to the pressure on border taxes, CARICOM countries could face
pressure from OECD countries on taxation of mobile capital. This international business
services area is one in which a number of CARICOM countries have developed a comparative
advantage and has been a significant source of revenue and economic activity. Apart from this,
ways of making tax systems more efficient and effective may obviate the need to increase tax
rates or to introduce new taxes. Current trends encourage a review of the effectiveness of
double taxation agreements and creation of a human face for Tax Policy and Administration.

    • Transfer Pricing and Double Taxation Agreement Conventions
 A number of factors impact on international tax administration. Extending local economies and
variation in forms of trade, the information technology revolution, and deregulation in the
financial sector. Continual assessment of losses due to transfer pricing abuses could inform
policy shifts. Some international examples of innovative approaches to tax administration in this
area include an expansion of the organisational structure e.g. a special office of International
Operations in charge of information exchange with overseas trade partners. Other examples are
use of penalties and Advance Pricing Agreements (USA), overseas examiners, anti-tax haven
measures, cooperative arrangements with foreign tax authorities towards development of
common international taxation rules and a successful Double Taxation network in which real
benefits could accrue e.g. removal of tax impediments to cross-border trade and investment. In
addition tax administration would be assisted by transfer pricing guidelines, international
seminars and staff training on Taxation.

    •   Implications for Tax Administration in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy;
        individuals and trades and business
The CARICOM Single Market and Economy has come into effect with a view to creating a
successful economic union in this region. One of the main concerns for decision-makers and
policy planners in the fiscal arena include the impact that the reduction in tariffs-custom fees,
charges and licenses will have on government revenues. Also, the implications for tax
administration of the implementation of the CSME elements concerning free movement of the
factors of production, particularly employees shifting across tax systems, must be addressed so
that the process of accommodation necessary for facilitating a Single market and economy is
supported. Public awareness and sensitization programmes are urgent.



5
    • Innovative Customer Relations in Tax Administration
Customer service has become a critical component of strategies to improve tax collection and
compliance through modern tax administration whether in small countries like those of the
Caribbean or in larger developed countries. It has been suggested that Tax administrations will
be effective in reducing complaints from tax paying public by providing quality customer
services. These may include giving more attention to tax payer assistance, information and tax
education, simplification of the tax laws, regulations and procedures and accessibility of tax
information.
Innovations could arise from other methods of communication than the usual telephone system
and publications. For example : use of a website and on line services, Customer Service Units,
upgraded interpersonal skills of tax collectors and greater understanding of the effects of
taxation on the wider society reflected in a more humane approach to treatment of taxpayers.

                                CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
                 Papers: 20 minutes followed by 15 minutes questions and discussions

Monday 24 July (3 papers, workshops)

09:00 -11:00          Opening Ceremony
11:00 -11: 30         BREAK
11.30 -12. 05         Innovative Tax Policy for a Developing Economy
12.05 -14. 00         LUNCH
14.00 -14. 35         Current Directions in Tax Policy and Tax Administration
14.35 -15.10          Options in Tax Administration: Enhancing Compliance & Collections
15. 10 -15. 25        BREAK
15. 25 -16.05         Workshops: (20 minutes each)
                      Options for Innovative Tax Administration of International Transactions
                      for:
                      (a)Transfer Pricing
                      (b) Double Taxation Agreement Conventions
Tuesday 25 July - ( 6 papers, workshops)

09.00 - 09.35             Innovations in Tax Administration of the Underground Economy
09.35 -10.10            Options and Innovations for Optimizing Revenues from Taxes on
                        Consumption
10.10 -10. 25           BREAK
10.25 -11.00            Options and Innovations for Tax in the Tourism Sector
11.00 -11. 35           Innovations in Tax Investigations and Appeals
11.35 -12. 15           Workshops in Management:
                        Innovations and Options in Management of: -
                            i. Small and Medium and
                           ii.  Large Tax Administration
12.15 -14.15            LUNCH
14.15 -14. 50           Options for Evaluating Performance of a Tax Administration Agency
14. 50 -15.25           Innovative Customer Relations in Tax Administration
15.25 - 15.40           BREAK


15. 40 -16.20           Workshops:
                        Tax Implications of E-commerce Business, Call centers and Internet
                        Cafes


6
Wednesday 26

PRESENTATIONS FROM SAINT LUCIA

Thursday 27
                      Workshops
09.00 - 09.40         Options in Tax Policies and Administration of Financial Services Sector
09. 40 -10.10          Workshop: Innovations in Tax Administration of Financial Services
10.10 -10. 25         BREAK
10. 25 -11.30         Conclusions and Recommendations of Conference
11.30 -13. 30         LUNCH
13.30 -16.00          Administrative Session for COTA Members
16.00 -17.00          Closing Ceremony
19.00 - 22.00         Conference Night

                                              ****

Fiscal Impact of Integration and Trade Liberalisation

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat has contracted three (3) experts to provide
services as Consultants under a Project entitled the Fiscal Impact of Integration and Trade
Liberalization Efforts in the Caribbean. The project is intended to achieve the general
objective of supporting CARICOM Member States in evaluating the fiscal impact of trade
liberalization and devising appropriate compensatory tax policies within the context of achieving
an increasingly harmonized tax system. The final report of the Consultants will contain
recommendations on Tax harmonization on the basis of which programmes are to be developed
for implementation.
The specific objectives of the consultancy are:
     • to provide CARICOM countries and regional agencies with detailed information on the
         potential fiscal impact of tariff reduction resulting from the FTAA, ongoing negotiations
         with the EU and taking into account the intra-regional liberalization process;
     • to facilitate CARICOM countries and regional agencies in determining the best
         alternative domestic tax policies which can be adopted to compensate for estimated
         customs revenue losses; and
     • To identify elements of a harmonized tax system for the Caribbean Community
                                                   ***


                                        FAREWELL
On behalf of the COTA, the Executive Secretary wishes to acknowledge with gratitude,
the contributions of Mr. Lloyd Cummings, COTA correspondent for Barbados, to the
work undertaken by COTA over the years of his tenure. May his future endeavors be as
successful.
                                          ***




7
                        COTA ESSAY COMPETITION
COTA Essay Competition for Secondary Schools

Topic: Innovations and Options for Taxation in the CARICOM Region.

         The CARICOM Secretariat and COTA are inviting Secondary Schools in the CARICOM
Region to participate in an Essay Competition on the topic: Innovations and Options for
Taxation in the CARICOM Region.
         The objective of the competition is to stimulate and present research findings on
innovations in tax policy and administration that are relevant to the Caribbean context. The
competition is also an approach to public education on Taxation and tax-related developments.
It can also be argued that people-oriented input to taxation policy reflects their concerns and is
likely to have a positive impact on tax-compliance. In particular, focus is being placed on
encouraging youth to become knowledgeable on taxation policy and administration both in view
of their future as potential entrepreneurs and income-earners and also to engender an interest
in this field as a career choice.
         The CARICOM Secretariat and COTA collaborate with the Ministries of Education in
Member States concerning participation. At national level, a competing school be allowed to
submit a maximum of 3 entries to the Tax Administration who determine the three best national
essays. Officials of the CARICOM Secretariat evaluate essays in accordance with
predetermined criteria and choose the essays in first second and third places. Winners will be
announced and information sent to Tax Administrations. Further details are available on the
CARICOM Website on the COTA page.

Topic Background

        Member States of the Caribbean Community have formulated social and
economic development strategies which govern activities of their various governments.
Fiscal and tax policies to adjust operation of the economies and balance government
finance are receiving increasing attention. In seeking to modernize and strengthen
regional economies, resources for transformation processes may be sourced from
taxation. However with the advent of globalization, free trade and its accompanying
phase out of border taxes, the search for new and innovative ways of making tax
systems more efficient and effective is on. Initiatives at reform have been implemented in
various Member States ranging from changes to tax laws, physical and technological
infrastructure and human resource training. The challenge remains to find alternative
taxes, new systems, skills and ways of organizing for tax collection to satisfy revenue
and development needs over time. The topic for the 2006 COTA Essay competition is
therefore relevant as it seeks innovations and examine options for taxation of the small
economies in CARICOM.

                                              ******




8
                          COTA participants to the 26th Annual CATA Conference -
                           Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts-Nevis, and
                             Trinidad and Tobago, the Executive Secretary, COTA
                           and Project Officer, Tax Policy Unit, CARICOM Secretariat
                                                     ***
                                          WELCOME

                                   VINETTE ELIZABETH KEENE
                          DIRECTOR GENERAL, TAX ADMINISTRATION JAMAICA

                 A hearty welcome is extended to Ms. Vinette Keene who has been
                 honored with the appointment as Acting Director General of the Jamaica
                 Tax Administration.
                 With over twenty (20) years outstanding service in Tax Administration, Mrs.
                 Vinette Keene has responsibility for the management and control of all the
                 revenue departments. After completing her Bachelors Degree in Management
Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mrs. Keene joined the Trade Board and a year later
moved to the then Revenue Board. She holds a MBA from the University of New Orleans.
During the period 1987 to 1991, Mrs. Keene was instrumental in the development and
implementation of the General Consumption Tax, as Head of the GCT Implementation Team.
                                               0-0-0



FUN CORNER            -      ha! ha! Ha!




9
                                COUNTRY UPDATES

                                             BELIZE
                                                  -   Mr. Kent Clare
                                                      COTA Correspondent

Recent Tax Legislation                                justify the change. As far as staffing is
The Government of Belize is preparing to              concerned, it is not envisioned that the
enact new legislation to introduce the                implementation would necessitate any staff
General Sales Tax (GST). The legislation is           cuts. As a matter of fact, the GST
in bill form and was tabled in the House of           implementation team expects that the new
Representatives on Friday November 11,                General Sales Tax Department would
2005. It will be debated further at future            require additional bodies, particularly for
sittings of the House, before being enacted.          audits.
The target date for implementation is April
1, 2006.                                              Recent Training
                                                      In anticipation of the eventual introduction of
The entrance of the GST will see the                  the proposed General Sales Tax (GST), the
simultaneous abolishment of the current               Ministry of Finance, in conjunction with the
Sales Tax. The primary criticism of the               Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance
present system is its cascading effect, with          Center (CARTAC), conducted two technical
tax being charged on tax in multi-stage               training programs in Belize. The first was
sales. The prominent feature of the General           dubbed a GST Basic Administration Course
Sales Tax is its credit mechanism, whereby            and ran from September 6 – 7, 2005 at the
a seller gets to offset any GST paid on               Radisson Hotel in Belize City. The resource
his/her purchases against taxes he/she                persons were CARTAC’s Director for the
charges on his/her own sales. The tax, then,          Caribbean Paulo Dos Santos and an IMF
is very friendly to business and its incidence        economist, Oswaldo Schenone. The second
rests squarely on general consumers. It is            training session was held at the Customs
very similar to Value Added Tax. The                  Department’s Conference Center from July
Government of Belize also promises to                 26 –29, 2005. This was a Training for
repeal a number of lesser taxes including             Trainers Workshop and was facilitated by
Entertainment Tax.                                    Mmes. Marjorie Wharton and Deborah
                                                      Carrington, both of the Center for
The proposed rate of Tax in the Bill is 10%,          Management Development (CMD), UWI,
although there is continuing lobby by Private         Barbados. A cadre of 25 or so trainees
Sector interests to reduce it to a single digit       benefited from both sessions. These were
rate. A 9.5% rate might be a likely                   selected from the Income Tax, Sales Tax
compromise. The present Sales Tax rate is             and Customs Departments. It is expected
9% which is the same as the                           that these persons will conduct the bulk of
Accommodation or Hotel Tax charged by                 the GST public sensitization efforts in the
the Belize Tourist Board.                             New Year.

The current Sales Tax provides the                    Related News
Government of Belize with approximately               To ensure an easy transition, the Ministry of
$122 million in revenue annually. In                  Finance      has     appointed    a     GST
supplanting Sales Tax, the yield from GST             Implementation Team that has been
would have to be equivalent, or more, to              working diligently for the past few months.



10
The Team Coordinator is Mrs. Geraldine
Davis, former Commissioner of Inland                     The General Sales Tax is the primary
Revenue. Sales Tax Commissioner Mrs.                     outcrop from the efforts of the Tax Reform
Beverly Castillo, Assistant Commissioner of              Committee, headed by Minister Jose Coye.
Income Tax Mrs. Marilyn Ordonez, Sales                   However, the Committee continues to meet
Tax Officers Cecilia Thompson and Lewin                  to consider tax reform in other areas, such
Samuels and Collector of Customs Godfrey                 as Income Tax and Business Tax. The
Arzu are assisting her. During the period                Committee, made up of both Public and
October 22 –28, 2005, team members                       Private Sector representatives, has equity
Davis, Castillo and Ordonez visited                      and fairness as its primary focus. It is
Barbados to get an overview of its VAT                   expected that its work will conclude before
system. This was made possible thru                      the next fiscal year and recommendations
CARTAC and the courtesies of the                         will be forthcoming for revision of the
Comptroller of Customs and Excise and the                Income & Business Tax Act.
Director of the VAT Division.
                                                   ***
                                 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has enacted new tax legislation for 2005 as listed
below:

Recent Tax Legislation- Income Tax 2005
      • The Personal Allowance - a deduction granted to resident individuals in determining
         their chargeable income was increased for individuals whose gross income did not
         exceed $35,000.

          •    The tax exemption on benefits in kind for employees of an Educational
               Establishment and Charitable Organisations was removed.

                                        Corporation Tax 2005

       •      An Approved Small Company is exempt from the payment of Business Levy (a tax
              paid by businesses whose gross sales exceed $200,000 annually at the rate of 0.2%
              0f the sales).

       •      Companies were allowed a deduction not exceeding $1M for Covenanted Donations
              made to Charitable Organisations.

                                       Unemployment Levy2005
      •       The Unemployment levy imposed on the profits of a person within the meaning of the
              Petroleum Taxes Act is to be computed for the current financial year and paid in
              quarterly installments on or before 30/3; 31/6; 30/9; 31/12 each year.

                                         Petroleum Taxes 2005
      •       Petroleum tax is to be computed and assessed on the taxable profits for the current
              financial year and paid in quarterly installments on or before 30/3; 31/6; 30/9; 31/12
              each year, however the supplemental petroleum tax is to be assessed for each
              quarter and paid on or before the 15th day of the following month.




11
Related News

      •   The Inland Revenue Division launched its new Criminal Tax Investigation Unit and its
          Website www.ird.gov.tt last year.

      •   Last year the Division entered an essay writing competition for new innovations and
          was awarded the Prime Minister’s Trophy for the category ‘Breaking New Grounds’
          for the innovation of the new Tax Remittance System/Cash Receipting System which
          is a software application that accepts payments for all taxes payable to the Inland
          Revenue Division as well as facilitates prompt and accurate updating of taxpayers’
          accounts.

      •   Presently the Division is working towards implementing an Integrated Tax Processing
          System (ITPS), which will merge all the information of a taxpayer into one master
          database. This will enable faster processing of returns and updating of taxpayers
          accounts; easier reconciliation and access of information for Compliance and Audit
          purposes; and many other advantages.

Promotions/Retirement
    • Three (3) Field Auditors V have been promoted to Assistant Commissioners of Inland
        Revenue (ACIR).

      •   There was one retirement from the posts of Assistant Commissioners of
          Inland Revenue (ACIR).

Training Seminars and Workshops

The Tax Administration of T&T conducted a number of training courses at its Inland Revenue
Training Center over the period July to December 2005. Each session catered to an average of
15-25 participants from both secretarial and senior grades. The topics addressed ranged from
priority areas of Customer Services, Computer Literacy and Business Process Analysis to basic
staff development Training and Code of Ethics Awareness.
In the case of the Business Process Analysis course, resource persons were sourced from the
Internal Revenue Services of the United States of America. All other deliveries were made by
local resource persons.
 This programme of training was intended to provide staff with a range of skills and knowledge
that would enhance service delivery and increase the effective performance of their duties.
 Importantly, the workshop on Computer Literacy is considered critical in the context of the
 Integrated Tax Processing System which is soon to be operationalised.




12
       CARICOM UPDATES
 The Tax Policy Unit is involved in facilitating a number of projects in accordance with
                         the COTA Work Programme 2006-2008

                        Tax Policy and Administration Projects
                      Project                           Schedule
      Taxation of Gaming and               Q2 2006
      Entertainment
      Tax Policy Design Workshop           Q2- Q3 2006
      E-legislation and E-Audit Workshop   Q2 2006
      Self learning Materials Training     Q1 2007
      project
      CARICOM Double Taxation              Q1 2006
      Agreement- Implementation of CDTA
      in Dominica, Suriname and Grenada
      Regional Tax Database                Q2 –Q3 2006


      Fiscal Impact Studies – Impact of           Q1-Q4 2006
      Trade liberalization/Fiscal Trade
      Regime with Tax Harmonisation
      COTA Essay                                  In Progress.
      Management Training for Tax                 Q2 2006
      Managers                                    Q2 2007
      Diploma/ Msc. in Tax Administration         Q1 2007
      COTA GA                                     Q2-Q3 2006
      Training requests from select               Q2-Q3 2006
      Member States
      Workshop on the CSME and its                Q2-Q3 2006
      impact on Taxation




Quote :“The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible
amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing”. [Albert Baptiste Colbert, 1665]

13
Regional Video-Conferencing Project

In looking at the future of communications in the region, meetings of the COTA members stand
to benefit from a Video- Conferencing project soon to be launched by the CARICOM
Secretariat. Some of the main benefits of this project being conducted are;
     - facility of quicker and more effective communication between Member States and the
        Secretariat in the first instance.
     - Long term costs savings likely to be achieved over reduction in travel and other
        expenses incurred in convening meetings of several participants in various locations
     - Personnel trained in conducting a video conference

     The Consulting firm conducting the project has been soliciting information on Community
     and Secretariat needs in this field of modern information technology.
     It is proposed that each Member State will be equipped with the telecommunication links to
     service communication with the Secretariat. Member states are being encouraged to utilize
     this facility when it comes on stream in March 2006.
     Enquiries may be sent to Ms. Jennifer Britton at jbritton@caricom.org.




                                    KEEP IN STEP
        HOW TO GET A CARICOM SKILLED NATIONALS CERTIFICATE
                           Career & Education
                                 -Jamaica Information Service (JIS)

APPLYING for a CARICOM Recognition of Skills Certificate is pretty straightforward for a
university graduate. He or she need only show their degrees to be granted the document
which allows one the freedom to live and work in other participating Caribbean
Community states.

However, the process is not as easy for other professionals who will have to present other
documents to prove their eligibility or qualification, under the CARICOM Free Movement of
Persons Act, 1997, a legislation that all member states should have in place by December 2005,
the latest.

Not all categories of professionals are approved to apply for certificates. Those now approved
are university graduates, media practitioners, artistes, musicians, sportspersons, managers,
technical and supervisory staff attached to a company or certain self-employed persons.

The Caricom Secretariat says that even within these broad areas, there are more specific
categories. In sports, for example, different documents are required from athletes as opposed to
coaches.




14
1.        Athletes have to be registered as a        professional or semi-professional in their
field, while coaches need to give proof of their affiliation to the respective sport federation, their
tenure in the profession and their qualifications regarding their job.

2.         Cricket coaches have to present their West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Senior
Coaching Certificate, documentation that proves their affiliation to the national cricket
association and also documentation that says that they have been coaches in the region for the
past three years.

3.     Football coaches are required to show their diplomas from reputable institutions,
examples of which are: the FIFA level 3 Academy Coaching Diploma, the Brazil Football
Academy Coaching Diploma or the Football Association of England Coaching Diploma. They
should also be practising coaches within the last 18 months and affiliated to their country's
national football federation.

4.     Track and field coaches are required to present their International Amateur Athletic
Federation Level (IAAF) 11 Coaching Certificates in sprints and hurdles, throws and jumps or
middle and long distance running.

If they do not have these documents, they may present their coaching diploma, from a reputable
institution, along with proof of practical experience within the last two years or present evidence
of their affiliation with their country's national athletic association.

Artistes or musicians fall into four separate categories and each grouping has specific
documentation requirements.

5.     Category one consists of visual, performing, literary, plastic, folk and carnival artistes. To
be granted the skills certificates they will have to prove the community or national impact that
their work has, give a record of awards granted by professional or national bodies and/or a
record of employment in the field.

6.       Category two consists of artistes or musicians and other technicians such as stage or
road managers and light and sound operators. They are also required to prove the national
impact of their activities, give a track record or give evidence of special training in the specific
field in order to be granted the skills certificate.

7.      Support staff such as road crew, which is different from road managers, constitute the
third category. To be granted the skills certificate, they have to prove that they are attached to
an artiste or musician.

8.      In category four is the arts educator who has no university certification, but is qualified
up to a certain level within the education system and/or has evidence of special training in the
specific field.

Skilled CARICOM nationals who wish to exercise their right under the Free Movement clause
under the CSME, can apply for the skills certificate in either the host or home state. In the case
of Jamaica, application is made at the ministry of labour and social security.

                                                 ***


15
     COTA Newsletter is researched and published by:

            The Tax Policy & Administration Unit
            Caribbean Community Secretariat
            P.O. Box 10827
            Turkeyen
            Greater Georgetown
            GUYANA
            Tel.: 592 222 0131/ 222 0001-0075
            Fax:592 222 0171/0155
             E-mail: judithl@caricom.org or
             cpertab@caricom.org
          Newsletter available on Web Site: caricom.org
                         COTA Web Page




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