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Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall, has said that the government, over the last three years, has delivered on its promises, with the passage of a number of significant pieces of legislation and fulfilling policy objectives.
These he said, include the Child Care and Protection Act; the conversion of the Child Development Agency into an Executive Agency; the appointment of a Children’s Advocate following the recommendations of the review panel on Children’s Homes and Places of Safety.
Professor Hall, in his first Throne Speech in Gordon House earlier today (April 12), further pointed to the operation of the Early Childhood Commission and the appointment of an Executive Director; the enactment of the National Health Fund Act and the coming into being of the Fund in August 2003; as well as the passage of the Municipalities Act and the coming into being of the Portmore municipality in 2003.
Turning to the fight against crime, Professor Hall noted that several pieces of legislation were enacted to include: Terrorism Prevention Act; Criminal Justice (Plea Negotiations and Agreement) Act; Firearms (Amendment) Act and the Finger Prints (Amendment) Act.
“In terms of the efficiency of the courts, case management software was installed in 11 resident magistrates courts fulfilling a commitment made in the 2005/06 Throne Speech,” he said.
He also informed that the promise to facilitate investment and growth made in 2003/2004 was manifested in the expansion of the tourism sector, with some1,200 rooms constructed last year; and many more scheduled to be built.
Meanwhile, the National Irrigation Commission commenced its “flagship” projects under the National Irrigation Development Plan, with the launch of the Pedro Plains project in January 2005.
Professor Hall also informed that clients now have 24-hour access to the National Land Agency’s database, while 95 state agencies have citizens’ charters in published or draft form. “These charters set the standards of service to the public and against which the performance of agencies is judged,” he stated.The Throne Speech marks the beginning of the 2006/07 parliamentary year.