THE January 23 meeting of Executive Council was summarised as follows:
The task status report for this month was noted, then approval was given in principle for the minting and issue of a commemorative coin in anticipation of the Centenary of the First World War.
A reduction of Stanley Common annual grazing fees was agreed.
Next, a proposed upgrade of the Government IT network was discussed and approved, as the current system has several inadequacies.
The request for equipment to deal with public disorder and to protect police officers was approved. This equipment consists of body worn optical evidence gathering cameras, and an incapacitating spray.
The next item was permission for the construction of a short stretch of road across Stanley Common to provide access to the European Space Agency hosting site near Mullet Creek. This was approved, as was the next paper which requested that 63 Fitzroy Road be designated as a Building of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
An application for an Exploration Licence to Borders and Southern Petroleum to allow 3D seismic surveys to be carried out was also approved.
An update on the facilitation of Private Sector Involvement in the Oil and Gas Industry was noted, and then the publication of the Agricultural Returns Bill in the Gazette and presentation of the Bill to Legislative Assembly in February was approved.
The same requests for the Administration of Justice (Amendment) Bill were also granted. This draft bill makes a number of changes to the administration of justice that had already been approved as a matter of policy.
Draft Legislation for a new statutory framework for FIDC to be gazetted and presented to Legislative Assembly was approved along with subsidiary legislation (if the bill is passed) on Transitional Provisions order, Contracts and Sealing regulations, Reserve Powers regulations, and Appointment, Co-option and Removal of Board Members regulations.
It was agreed that a draft order under the Road Traffic Ordinance to allow temporary road closures during demining operations in the vicinity of MPA road would be allowed. An order of this type was made to allow road closure during the demining in early 2012.
A letter from the Public Accounts Committee was noted, which was submitted with comments on four items on the external audit Interim Audit Report year ended 30 June 2012, concerning the quarry, taxation, risk management and fisheries licencing. There were no recommendations with these comments.
A report received from the Complaints Commissioner dealing with a complaint which was upheld, was discussed and the recommendations made by the Commissioner will be carried out.
Executive council then approved the creation of the post of a Geographical Information Service (GIS) Officer for a period of two years.
It was approved that restructuring of staffing within the Policy Unit should go ahead, with the aim to strengthen and make the Policy unit more effective.
Five applications for Falkland Islands Status were approved.
It was agreed to modify the content of the RDS Action Plan to allow sufficient flexibility in the 4 year plan such that the RDS Steering Group is delegated responsibility to identify and approve certain alternative projects that meet the agreed objectives of the overall Strategy and that do so within approved budgets without prior EXCO approval. This would be subject to oversight and approval of the Chief Executive who sits on the RDS Steering Group.
Finally, a late paper was submitted requesting that funds previously allocated for observer costs for the forthcoming Referendum be reallocated to cover additional administrative costs. EXCO paper 205/12 had previously requested funding for 'covering the cost of the observers, their travel, accommodation and subsistence'. As planning for the referendum has progressed it has become clear that it would be inappropriate for FIG to fund any aspect of the observer mission, hence the redirection of this funding.