Environmental considerations are rising up the law firm management agenda

first_img Reed Smith’s new London headquarters in Broadgate Tower in the City of London is BREEAM Excellent-rated, according to the law firm. It also has a ‘Silver’ LEED CI (Commercial Interiors) rating. Phil Page, the firm’s Europe and Middle East operations director, says: ‘Given that we operate globally, for our internal fit-out we have gone more towards LEED [rather than BREEAM], which is a more globally recognised standard.’ Reed Smith also has LEED accreditations for its buildings in Pittsburgh and San Francisco. Whitehead says: ‘Between our London and Birmingham offices we have got effective video conferencing, so we are not flying domestically unless we have to and are cutting down on international travel. We also have an internal offset scheme where we invest in local environmental projects as a way of partially offsetting the carbon associated with flying.’ Despite being a global firm, Page notes that Reed Smith has also made ‘significant savings’ on air travel with ‘a huge investment in video conferencing’, from high-end facilities to access on single work stations. Martineau is trimming air travel, too. Renewable energy Newly appointed chief executive officer, Giles Bristow, a former Slaughter & May environmental law specialist, says the organisation focuses uniquely on carbon reducing initiatives – a departure for lawyers who have traditionally done pro bono work on issues such as access to justice and human rights. Broadgate Tower has heat recovery equipment, leak detection, and lighting controls, such as special light sensors that will switch off lights when not in use, or dim them when daylight increases. Reed Smith moved into the new building in April 2009. Good ongoing management and maintenance is just as important as the initial fit, adds Page. ‘There is a lot of brouhaha when these systems are first put in, but you have to ensure that they continue to operate and reflect the nature of your use.’ Beating carbon The charity is also different in that it is multi-sector. Bristow says: ‘It is not just lawyers, but also includes accountants, architects, financiers, environmental engineers. It’s about trying to galvanise cross-sector support for projects to make them succeed.’ Reed Smith, adds Page, is part of the Broadgate Environmental Working Group, which brings together landlord Broadgate Estates, a wholly-owned subsidiary of British Land, and fellow tenants to work on initiatives to reduce carbon footprint and energy consumption. ‘The initiatives on reducing utility consumption have been very significant in terms of savings,’ says Page. Environmental issues have steadily climbed up law firms’ agendas. As corporates seek to capitalise on both consumers’ growing awareness of the need to save the planet, and government incentives on the environment, solicitors, as part of their clients’ supply chain, are responding by boosting their own green credentials. Commitment to the environment, through sustainable practices, can also deliver cost savings, for example through eliminating unnecessary waste and maximising energy usage. Being ‘green’, many firms report, is also of growing importance in the recruitment and retention of staff. Cost and waste reduction are key drivers behind many law firms’ green activities. Consider Taylor Wessing’s building in London’s New Street Square. Built with sustainably sourced materials, it also boasts low-energy air conditioning, systems to cut the use of artificial light, and appliances and controls to reduce the amount of water consumed. Firms are also trying to tackle waste. Martineau has introduced ‘Follow me Printing’, which reduces the amount of uncollected print jobs that are either sent to the wrong printer or are sent when the printer is temporarily offline, resulting in multiple copies. ‘Environment and climate change is much more important to our clients than it ever was,’ notes Caroline May, head of environment, safety and planning practice at global law firm Norton Rose in London. ‘It’s seen as a much more rational business issue now, rather than a nice bit of greenery for the corporate social responsibility brochure.’ Helen Garthwaite, UK head of construction and engineering at Taylor Wessing, concurs: ‘There has been a leap in awareness… Green issues were once just about the facilities manager trying to keep building operational costs down. Now they are a matter for the boardroom.’ This was confirmed by a report published at the start of the year by Taylor Wessing, entitled Hitting the Green Wall… and Beyond, a collaborative effort with the British Property Federation and UK consultancy Spada. Over 80% of respondents said that responsibility for green sustainability sat with senior management. The research surveyed over 7,000 individuals in the UK property sector. ‘To be able to give traditional legal advice in today’s business context, knowledge of environmental and sustainable legislation and practice is important,’ Garthwaite explains. ‘It’s something that’s becoming a fact of life for law firms.’ Driving the green agenda is the Climate Change Act 2008, which sets the UK’s legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34% by 2020 and by at least 80% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels. To assist with implementation, the government has introduced incentives such as the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme and the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme. The CRC, introduced in April 2010, is a carbon-trading scheme that is compulsory for large, non-energy-intensive businesses, and public sector organisations operating in the UK. It requires participating organisations to report on their carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. The first CRC reporting deadline was 29 July, with substantial penalties for non-compliance. In October, for the first time, league tables will be published, ranking organisations for their performance on gas emissions and carbon footprint. ‘The CRC has increased the amount of instructions from clients who are asking about its impact on their business and what they need to do,’ says Garthwaite. These include commercial landlords and their tenants, as commercial property is estimated to contribute around a fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions. The CRC has also contributed to a strong take-up of green agreements and ratings. Garthwaite explains: ‘There is an increase in the use of green ratings and green agreements and law firms need to know about these benchmarks that clients may wish to aspire to in their business dealings.’ Green agreements are typically green leases, building contracts, protocols and voluntary arrangements, such as memoranda of understanding between landlords and tenants, with provisions relating to energy efficiency measures and waste reduction management. According to the Hitting the Green Wall report, almost 60% of respondents had used some form of green agreement. The report also highlights that, in response to legislative pressures to reduce carbon emissions, the property sector is making use of ‘a wealth of sustainable measurement tools’ – ratings or accreditations for high-performance green buildings such as BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) and its US equivalent, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (see first box, below)). One example is Ham Hydro, which aims to install hydro power turbines on the River Thames at Teddington Weir. The project, supported by Norton Rose, will not only generate green electricity to power 900 households in the area, but will also, it is hoped, generate income to promote and develop other community projects in Ham and surrounding areas. Taking the lead from clients Wragge & Co is trying to reduce the amount of paper it uses – 24 million sheets in 2009/2010. Having failed to hit its 5% per-employee consumption reduction target, it is now tackling the problem by raising awareness, but above all, with automated double-sided printing. Director of facilities Penny March says: ‘There is no opt out, you actually have to reset your default and people would much rather let it run.’ The firm is now on course to achieve its target, says March. Tenders and pitches Marialuisa Taddia is a freelance journalist Carbon Leapfrog, launched in September 2009, is a charity that provides free legal and other professional advice for UK and international carbon reduction projects. An important element in law firms’ growing interest in green issues is the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector. This is driven by government incentives, such as the FITs scheme, which was introduced on 1 April 2010 to encourage smaller-scale electricity production from renewable technologies, such as anaerobic digestion (electricity generated from food waste), hydroelectricity, solar photovoltaic panels, and wind turbines. Andrew Whitehead, who leads Martineau’s energy and climate change practice in Birmingham, says: ‘Many companies are installing solar and other renewables for their on-site demands. They are doing that because it is seen as a good thing from the corporate social responsibility point of view, but also because the Feed-in Tariffs are making it financially viable.’ Martineau recently acted for City-based fund manager Octopus Investments, advising on a number of solar photovoltaic projects across the UK which attracted FITs subsidies. Simmons & Simmons is also seeing ‘substantial’ growth among clients faced with rising and volatile energy bills. ‘We are dealing with a number of large corporate clients who are becoming power companies and producing their own energy [for the first time],’ says Steven McNab, who leads the firm’s environmental and climate change practice. The recession and the squeeze on costs have hit some green projects, McNab admits, but not where there has been a strong business case for them, such as in cutting costs on landfill and energy. Norton Rose has also seen a surge in business linked to clients’ renewables projects, with the ‘green economy’ accounting for ‘a significant proportion’ of the firm’s business both in London and globally. ‘We’ve got instructions pouring from the sky,’ says May. ‘In the past five years we have seen a growing stimulus in the renewable energy sector, which has actually helped our firm through the recession,’ she adds. These include large renewable energy projects, such as waste-to-energy and offshore wind. Norton Rose won a Stand Out award in the FT’s Innovative Lawyers survey in October 2010 for its work advising The Crown Estate on UK offshore wind farms – hailed as the world’s biggest renewable energy project, costing an estimated £100bn. At Martineau, energy and climate change is an expanding sector, accounting for around 10% of the firm’s revenue. While there has been concern about government cuts to FITs subsidies for the larger solar farm projects (this change came into effect on 1 August), Whitehead does not believe this will hit overall investment levels, but that some funding will be redirected to other technologies, such as anaerobic digestion, where subsidies have actually increased. Also, he notes that the government, in its Electricity Market Reform white paper, published on 12 July, is aiming to attract more than £110bn of investment into the UK over the next 10 years. The government wants to encourage growth of low-carbon energy and to meet the UK’s carbon emissions and renewable energy commitments. Furthermore, regardless of the economic situation, targets in the Climate Change Act still have to be met: ‘[Energy] is a relatively immune sector of the economy,’ he says. As well as existing clients dipping their toes into renewables, potential new business for law firms is emerging among a raft of new start-ups which deliver ‘clean’ technologies, or ‘cleantech’. To service them, Simmons & Simmons has come up with an online toolkit with legal document templates and guides that is charged at a fixed cost. Launched in February, the Cleantech Curve package includes advice on employment contracts and incentives, intellectual property protection, customer and supplier contracts, and securing premises and leases. ‘Cleantech Curve is targeted at small companies which would not normally go to a big law firm. It is virtually everything young companies should need from lawyers in the first few years of their existence,’ McNab explains. Some of the technologies being developed by Cleantech Curve’s clients include a micro-wind turbine and a system for turning air into liquid nitrogen for cryogenic energy storage. Start-ups in this dynamic sector are clearly worth nurturing, McNab argues: ‘We regard them as very important clients of the future.’ Simmons & Simmons’ Steven McNab, founder and trustee of Carbon Leapfrog, describes it as ‘a dating agency that puts very carefully selected projects together with volunteers such as people like me and you who might want to do something green but only have a limited amount of time’. He adds: ‘It is designed to make it very easy for an individual to give their time and be really effective with it.’ The greening process among law firms is being influenced by clients in other ways. ‘Increasingly, corporates that have environmental sustainability strategies want to know that their supply chain, including their lawyers, buy into their vision and goals,’ Garthwaite notes. May explains: ‘When we are doing pitches and tenders with government departments we are asked about our environmental performance.’ Questions can vary from tender to tender, but may include whether or not a law firm participates in the CRC, and, in the near future, will extend to a firm’s league table position, she adds. Phil Page, Europe and Middle East operations director at Reed Smith, agrees that clients are seeking information about a law firm’s own green initiatives. ‘Clients want to establish the green credentials of their supply chain. It’s a trend that has increased over the last couple of years and not just from the public sector but from the private sector too.’ Among clients’ expectations are law firms’ compliance with standards such as ISO 14001, a globally recognised certification setting out how organisations can put in place an effective environmental management system: ‘Certainly in the public sector you don’t get past the first tender stage without ISO 14001,’ says Taylor Wessing’s environmental manager Keith Binks. The firm obtained an ISO 14001 for its Environmental Management System (EMS) in 2009. So, to be credible with increasingly green-savvy clients, law firms must demonstrate their environmental commitment. May adds: ‘We try to walk the walk as well as to talk the talk. We operate in the low-carbon and renewable energy sector and if we are burning all the lights and dashing about in planes around the world I think it kind of undermines our credibility.’ May, for example, avoids flying when video conferencing will do. Norton Rose recently joined the Legal Sector Alliance (LSA), a ‘movement’ of law firms working together to take action on climate change by reducing their carbon footprint and adopting environmentally sustainable practices. The LSA, supported by the Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community charity and the Law Society, was launched in December 2008. It currently has 215 members, representing over 30% of solicitors in private practice in England and Wales, including 19 of the top 20 law firms. The legal profession makes only a small contribution to UK plc’s overall carbon footprint. However, for Whitehead, whose firm is a founding member of the LSA, there are compelling business reasons to get involved in the LSA: ‘If you are advising on carbon efficiency and climate change laws and policies then you need to be able to demonstrate that you have brought those policies alive in your own business before you can purport to advise other businesses.’ He adds: ‘As a LSA member, you have to demonstrate that you are working to comply with the principles that we have established.’ Calculating law firms’ carbon footprint and taking positive steps to reduce it is the LSA’s most important principle. First, a system to measure members’ carbon footprint, the so-called LSA carbon footprint protocol, was developed collaboratively by LSA members. Having established a baseline, in August LSA’s 20 executive members, including Simmons & Simmons, Norton Rose and Martineau, agreed to encourage all members to set their own targets which ‘are intended to deliver a meaningful and progressive reduction in firms’ emissions’. The two most significant contributors to law firms’ footprints are energy use in buildings and business travel. Even before this public show of commitment there has been real progress. The LSA’s Carbon Footprint Protocol Report, published in March this year, showed that executive members cut their carbon emissions by an average of over 12% over the three years 2007/8 to 2009/10. Another important principle of the alliance is that members should develop green-friendly procurement policies for key suppliers, such as cleaning, catering, stationery and recycling contractors. ‘We want our members to engage and share knowledge with their supply chain to ensure law firms are increasingly procuring in a sustainable way,’ says the LSA’s project manager Micael Johnstone. For Norton Rose’s May, LSA also means sharing good practice on the environment within the profession. ‘We see it as joining up with our peers and colleagues to share what we are doing. I think so often law firms are so bound up in themselves, in their competitiveness, and I think people think more of us when we work collectively.’ Green and sustainable initiatives are a potentially important tool in recruiting and retaining talent. ‘Young-generation lawyers see a firm’s commitment to the environment as a key recruitment issue,’ Garthwaite says. Simmons & Simmons, which says it was the first international law firm to achieve carbon neutral status across all its offices worldwide, in 2006, offers its lawyers the opportunity to get involved in pro bono initiatives tackling climate change. It does this through its support of the Legal Response Initiative launched in 2009 by lawyers from Oxfam and WWF-UK, and Carbon Leapfrog. McNab concludes: ‘There are people who will look at those sorts of softer issues [corporate social responsibility and environmental responsibility] as indicators of the kind of firm you are.’ He adds: ‘That’s less relevant in the current market but when the economy is a bit more on track, it will become substantially more relevant.’ Carbon Leapfrog won Simmons & Simmons a Stand Out ranking in the FT’s Innovative Lawyers survey in October 2010, and contributed to the firm winning the Law Firm of the Year category at the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2011. Green building blocks Carbon Leapfrog has several projects on the go in the UK and overseas and, says Bristow, over the next 12 months the charity plans to get involved in work in some of London’s poorest areas. The MOU sets targets for reducing building emissions, increasing waste recycling and energy efficiency. Binks notes that in 2010/2011 these initiatives resulted in a 5% reduction in ‘building emissions’, the bulk of which related to electricity and gas consumption. The building, the firm says, boasts a ‘very good’ BREEAM assessment, which sets the standard for environmental efficiency, including for energy and water use. With its landlord and fellow tenants, which include the Carbon Trust, Taylor Wessing has signed a green, non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) amending the main lease. Taylor Wessing’s environmental manager Keith Binks explains: ‘This is all of us working together to further minimise the environmental impact of this building.’ last_img read more

Buyers and sellers abandon the housing market

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

Schot acquires first-ever Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 crane

first_imgThe LTM 1750-9.1 is a nine axle mobile crane; and what makes it unique is that the complete telescopic boom can remain attached during transportation on public roads.The crane has a maximum lifting capacity of 750 tonnes at a 3 m radius and is equipped with a telescopic boom extendible from 16.3 m to 52 m.The LTM 1750-9.1 has been developed especially for customers where speed is of the essence. Erection times are significantly reduced as the crane can arrive at a jobsite with its telescopic boom and front outriggers on board. There is no need to for an auxiliary crane to use the LTM 1750-9.1 in a basic configuration.Schot Verticaal Transport expects the new crane to be delivered February 13. The LTM 1750-9.1 will be available for hire from February 18.For the movement of the crane parts and counterweights, Schot has added a new 8-axle Nooteboom MCO-PX semi-lowloader to its trailer fleet.  www.schotverticaaltransport.nlwww.liebherr.comlast_img read more

Logistec USA and GCBE join forces

first_img“Joining together will allow us to increase our market coverage and operational resources to better serve our customers throughout Florida and the US Gulf,” said Madeleine Paquin, president and ceo of Logistec Corporation – parent company of Logistec USA.Logistec Gulf Coast will handle bulk cargo at various locations in Florida, Louisiana and along the Mississippi River.Logistec handles heavy and over-dimensional cargoes including turbines, generators, yachts, transformers, locomotives, cranes, heavy trucks and tracked equipment, as well as all kinds of machinery.www.logistec.comlast_img read more

STI/Condom Awareness Month

first_imgMayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien, said: “We have seen a slight decline in the number of STIs recorded at our facilities, which is very encouraging. We can only hope that this means more people are having protected sex, but we are also wise to the fact that many people still refuse to get tested for HIV and treated for STIs, because of stigma and fear, among other factors.”All of the City’s clinics are able to diagnose and treat STIs.Mr Badroodien said, “STI/Condom Month coincides with the ‘month of love’. If you truly love your partner, but more importantly yourself, please ensure that you use protection at all times, get tested, know your status and seek help or advice from your nearest clinic.” Condoms offer protection against STIs and also help prevent unwanted pregnancy. February is STI/Condom Month with the focus on raising awareness about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prevention.There has been a slight drop in the number of STIs recorded at City clinics in the first half of 2018 (17 122), compared to the same period in the previous year (17 430).A total of 43 232 women under 18 accessed reproductive health services at clinics in 2018, compared to 40 887 in 2017.Male and female condom distribution increased from just under 41 million in 2017 to nearly 44.5 million in 2018. Condoms offer protection against STIs and also help prevent unwanted pregnancy.last_img read more

SRA warns of ‘Friday afternoon fraud’ risk

first_imgThe Solicitors Regulation Authority says it is receiving four reports a month of law firms being tricked into giving bank details to fraudsters in so-called ‘Friday afternoon scams’.The regulator said it continues to get regular reports of scammers stealing from firms despite repeated warnings not to disclose sensitive details.Criminals tend to target conveyancing firms with large amounts of money in client accounts and are increasingly sophisticated in how they persuade people to release information.Internet scammers have been known to gain access to a firm’s online systems when malicious software is downloaded from unsolicited email communications. The perpetrators can intercept emails between firms and replace them with their own in an attempt to hijack money from client accounts.On two occasions these email intercepts have been followed by telephone calls from the fraudsters pretending to be from the bank’s counter-fraud team.On other occasions, law firms have been called and asked for verification of a specific electronic transaction, with callers stating they suspect fraudulent transactions have been set up. The scammer then asks the firm to confirm their online security information.In November, the SRA revealed that four firms had collectively had £2m taken from their accounts after falling victim to these schemes.At the time, Robert Loughlin, SRA executive director of operations, said: ‘These scammers are very active and convincing. They are highly sophisticated in their approach and therefore very capable of duping many people.’Firms are advised to independently validate callers by contacting somebody they already know at the bank, preferably using a separate telephone line, for example a mobile. There have been examples of scammers keeping the line open to intercept any follow-on call to check.Angus Ogg, senior professional indemnity underwriter at Elite Insurance, said two law firm clients had fallen victim to scams either side of Christmas.On both occasions, senior figures in the high street firms were persuaded to give bank details and each saw around £500,000 cleared from client accounts. Ogg said the pattern appears to suggest that fraudsters target times when they know money will be available.‘We’re not the only ones who have picked up these claims,’ he said.‘We know of other insurers whose solicitor clients have suffered the same fate. It’s the Friday afternoon scam – they do it at that time because that’s when conveyancing transactions are completed. The firms come back on Monday and there’s nothing left in the account.’last_img read more

Closer to the border

first_imgADIF has awarded contracts worth a total of ?224?3m for civil works on three sections between Girona and Figueres of the high speed line from Madrid to the French border. The 3?3?km from Sant Juli? de Ramis to Cornell? del Terri is to be built by Construcciones y Promociones Coprosa for ?46m, while the 7?1?km Cornell? del Terri – Vilademuls section including 916?m on viaduct and 2?1?km in tunnel has been awarded to a joint venture of Sacyr, Cavosa Obras y Proyectos and Scrinser for ?93?2m.FCC Construcci?n and Servi? Cant? have been awarded a contract worth ?85?1m for the 5?7?km Vilademuls – Pont?s section, where work including a bored tunnel 2?9?km long is expected to take 19?5 months to complete. Elsewhere on the route, tenders have been called with a combined budget of ?245?3m for civil works on two sections totalling 13?6?km between Mollet del Vall?s and La Roca del Vall?s.Also out to tender is a contract worth up to ?20?6m to build a concrete deck in the centre of Vilafranca del Pened?s over the high speed line and the adjacent section of the existing Tarragona – Barcelona route. Public consultation has begun on a proposed new alignment for the Barcelona – Port Bou main line between Vilamalla and Peralada, 13?8?km long and passing to the west of Figueres to serve the new station on the high speed line and release railway land in the centre of the town for redevelopment.last_img read more

Emergency Response Fund to be established after Kalinago Week

first_img Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Kalinago Dancers (file photo)An emergency response fund to benefit the people of the Kalinago Territory will be established this year.The fund, announced by Minister for Kalinago Affairs and Parliamentary representative for the Salybia Constituency, Casius Darroux, will commence with proceeds from Kalinago Week.Kalinago Week will be hosted from 16 – 25th September 2016 and observed under the theme ‘Kalinago Forever, Defeat Never, Embracing Your Cultural Heritage’’Speaking at the launching of Kalinago Week during a press conference at the Ministry of Kalinago Affairs on Friday 2 September, Darroux said the establishment of the fund is of great significance to the community and it will be the highlights of our events. “The establishment of a Kalinago Emergency Response Fund, is because the Kalinago community with little financial or economic activities going on, most of our residents, especially our senior citizens, who have worked to develop this country, but did not contribute to the Social Security as we know, they would not have the opportunity, to gain some financial blessings to meet their daily needs or in terms of emergency situations. So this emergency fund will help our residents, especially our senior citizens, in dire need of assistance,” Darroux explained. Development Officer of the Ministry of Kalinago Affairs, Cozier Frederick said that the Kalinago Week is a significant aspect of their heritage because it serves as a reminder of the last resistant effort to keep their heritage alive in Dominica.According to Frederick, the week represents the historical aspect of Kalinago life from the 1930’s and prior to the 1930’s. “So the Kalinago Week is a time within our history where we remember the happenings of 1930, specifically September 19th 1930. So every year we commemorate a week of activities that encapsulates September 19. We remember the happenings. The happenings are not always about the celebrations. Many of us argue it’s more of a commemoration of people and those who lost their lives in the 1930s on September 19th,” Frederick stated. Kalinago week, which officially starts on Friday 16th September, will begin with a formal program to honor one of their Kalinago elders, who is now physically disabled.There will also be a pageant where five young ladies will compete for the title of Miss Kalinago 2016. A history day to be held at the schools, a vigil for the leaders of the past, a panel discussion on the rights of Indigenous People, Kalinago Youth Day and a World River Day Celebration including ritual baths, are some of the highlights of Kalinago Week. Everton Frederick, Publicity Coordinator of the Kalinago Youth Council, gave an overview of what Kalinago Youth Day will entail.“We have decided that we want to have a talent exposition. This will bring forth the various talents available at the Kalinago Territory. We have singers, dancers, poets, and just about any talent you can find anywhere else, we have in the Kalinago territory,” he revealed.“So we want to give our young people the opportunity to bring out their talents. A modeling show will also be held later that evening, with the models being youth from the different Kalinago communities,” Everton Frederick further added. Sharecenter_img Share 168 Views   no discussions LocalNews Emergency Response Fund to be established after Kalinago Week by: Dominica Vibes News – September 2, 2016last_img read more

Guyana Opposition legislators stage walkout during debate on incentive bill

first_img Tweet Sharing is caring! NDC leader Nazim Burke (center) flanked by opposition Senators who walked out on Tuesday (CMC Photo)ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Jun 27, CMC – Opposition legislators staged a walkout on Tuesday protesting the ruling by the President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey, that the presentation of the leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Nazim Burke to the Hydrocarbon Incentive Bill was irrelevant.Opposition Senator, Keith Clouden who represents farmers in the Upper House of Parliament, joined Burke and the other NDC legislator in walking out of the Chamber.The walkout followed the decision by Humphrey to accept the “point of relevance” concern raised by the Leader of Government Business, Simon Stielle, on the grounds that Burke’s contribution was not relevant to the legislation.Burke, however argued against the move but Humphrey said he was in agreement with Stielle that the contribution was not relevant to which Burke responded by saying he will say nothing further on the Bill.“If you have nothing to say take your seat,’ Humphrey told the NDC leader, who then proceeded to pack his bag and walk out of the Chamber followed by the NDC’s Franka Bernardine and Clouden.The third NDC legislator, George Vincent, was not present during the walkout having earlier indicated that he would be missing the sitting.Clouden later told reporters that his action was indeed a protest to the treatment of Burke during the debate. “Yes, I am protesting,” he said, with Bernardine adding “all of us have something to say and we cannot say it”.The Hydrocarbon Incentive Bill, which was approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month, seeks to provide incentives for companies that will be engaging the hydrocarbon exploration.It defines hydrocarbon exploration investment as any business activity surrounding or involving exploration and scientific research to determine the existence of a natural deposit of crude oil or natural gas in Grenada or the quality, quantity or composition of crude oil or natural gas extracted from a natural deposit in Grenada.It excludes an investment that generates any profit from a transaction involving crude oil or natural gas, or any product of crude oil or natural gas, extracted from Grenada.To qualify for the incentives a company should have investment to a certain amount and that amount according to the bill not exceeding EC$50 million (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents).Other incentives include a 100 per cent waiver on Customs duties machinery and equipment; spare parts machinery and equipment and a maximum of six motor vehicles.The waiver will also apply to networking elements and computer hardware and software as well as building materials and infrastructure materials, for the purposes of a qualifying investment. NewsRegional Guyana Opposition legislators stage walkout during debate on incentive bill by: Caribbean Media Corporation – June 27, 2017 38 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share Sharelast_img read more

US Army Awards USD 55 million Order for an Inflatable SATCOM System

first_imgCubic Mission Solutions (CMS), the business division of Cubic Corp, has received orders worth more than $55 million to deliver its inflatable satellite communication and networking systems to the U.S. Army. These orders will satisfy the Army’s upcoming fielding need for 1.2- and 2.4-meter GATR systems, associated spares as well as training and sustainment support.Cubic’s GATR satellite communication and networking systems offer the transportability, high-bandwidth capabilities and the ease of setup necessary for Army units to execute their mission. The solution provides robust high-speed links that enable secure network communications, sustainment support and mission command across the full spectrum of operations, from initial entry to sustained operations. The decreased size, weight and power (SWaP) of a GATR 2.4-meter system provides up to four times the performance when compared with similar transit volume and weight antennas.The GATR systems’ compact pack-out size and innovative design provides significant improvements in transportability, throughput and setup speed, providing essential communications when and where they are needed most.last_img read more