BIZweek n°368 12 nov 2021
BIZweek n°368 12 nov 2021
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  • Parution : n°368 de 12 nov 2021

  • Périodicité : hebdomadaire

  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

  • Format : (260 x 370) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 9

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 2,8 Mo

  • Dans ce numéro : Geoffrey Cox.

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VENDREDI 12 NOVEMBRE 2021 | BIZWEEK | ÉDITION 368 LA TOUR AMID CONTROVERSIES ON SECOND JOBS Geoffrey Cox under scrutiny There is close scrutiny of the legal work the former attorney general does in addition to his tasks as a Member of Parliament. Revelations that the former attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, used his parliamentary office for lucrative private work have triggered a standards inquiry. Cox is not unknown to Mauritius. He has represented our country on various occasions at the Privy Council, and has also acted as legal adviser and consultant The former attorney general Sir Geoffrey Cox is the MP currently in the spotlight amid a wider controversy about second jobs and outside interests, after it emerged that in his work as a QC he has been representing the British Virgin Islands (BVI), both from London and the Caribbean. While MPs are allowed to have other jobs, they are not permitted to use parliamentary resources to do them. This was one of the charges upheld against Owen Paterson, the now-resigned Tory MP whose paid lobbying instigated the current fuss. Paterson held meetings connected to his lobbying in his Commons office, and used Commons stationery for some letters. Footage has emerged of Cox taking part virtually in hearings in which he represented the BVI over allegations of misgovernance and corruption. He appears to be doing so from his parliamentary office. At one point on 14 September Cox apologised for an absence, saying “the bell went off ”, thought to be an apparent reference to the division bell, which calls MPs to vote. Working abroad while parliament was sitting As well as representing the BVI via video link, Cox represented its government and its premier, Andrew Fahie, in person in the Caribbean, in April, May and June this year, including periods when the Commons was sitting. Cox took part in a number of votes while he was away, doing so via a proxy. Proxy voting was first introduced to the Commons in January 2019, initially just for new parents. In June last year, amid Covid, the arrangement was extended for MPs who could not be in Westminster for medical or public health reasons, and then in November, to any MPs who preferred to not vote in person “for medical or public health reasons relating to the pandemic”. This element expired in July this year. Under the rules as set out, Cox would appear not be have been allowed to cast a proxy vote so he could do non-MP work. However, in his statement Cox said he “consulted the chief whip specifically on this issue and was advised that it was appropriate”. Travelling abroad amid the pandemic During spring, restrictions on travelling abroad remained notably tougher than they are now. Overseas trips from England were only permitted with a “reasonable excuse”. One of these was travel for business “where it is not reasonably possible to complete that work within the UK”. Among examples listed were work linked to critical infrastructure, national security or diplomatic purposes. Cox is likely to have a reasonable argument that his trip was necessary, both in terms of the difficulty of holding weeks of legal hearings remotely, and the fact he was representing a national government. Working too many outside hours to be an effective MP Cox’s contribution to the register of MPs’ interests shows significant hours devoted to Withers, the international law firm representing the BVI, with a continuing commitment from this month of up to 41 hours a month, or around 10 hours a week. It does seem to be the case that Cox’s contributions to the work of the Commons have been minimal since he took on the BVI case. From 1 April this year until now, Cox has spoken just three times in the chamber, according to Hansard, all on the same day, 13 September. However, as long as MPs do not break rules, for example on paid lobbying, there is in effect no limit on how much outside work they carry out, and it is up to their electors to decide. Cox makes this point in his statement, one he opted to voice in the third person: “Sir Geoffrey’s view is that it is up to the electors of Torridge and West Devon whether or not they vote for someone who is a senior and distinguished professional in his field and who still practises that profession.” London Playbook: Suspicious in Mauritius Mauritius POLITICO Enter keyvmd EMRE V SUMMUM MOI OOT TCPIC6 COP26 CORONAVIROS Pi EUROPE PROSSELS PLAY6006 LONDON PIMBOOK PLAYBOOk PARIS DRIVING THE DAY SUSPICIOUS IN MAURITIUS: Moonlighting MP Geoffrey Cox launched a defiant rearguard action amid his second job scandai yesterday, but the part-time defense has turned tu farce this morning as it emerges he prepared his unrepentant statement some 6,000 miles away from Westminster in Mauritius. Today's newspapers have new angle after new angle on the Cox saga, from another tan haven gig he landed in the Cayman Islands, to the highly damaging revelation that he has been renting out lais taxpayer-funded London flat while coining it in the Caribbean. Boris Johnson yesterday refused to criticize Cox by naine though made clear lais displeasure at the former attorney general's failure to put lais constituents first. The news this morning Malts a picture of a man who has spent years pushing the benefits afforded to members of parliament to the limit in order to maximize his own personal brome. G inune More: Cox missed at least two sitting parliamentary days this week because he was on the Indian Ocean holiday island of Mauritius. The Mirror's Pippa Crerar reports lae was on a 'short business trip" and is a partner at an international law firm, Thomas More International, based in the country. Crerar says he was paired with opposition MPs allowing him to miss four Gommons votes. ha other words, lae has had the week off from his job as an MP — other than publishing a statement on lais website on Wednesday morning M which lae claimed las always makes sure las considers his constituents to be of "primary importance." According to a news published by Politico on 11 November 2021, Geoffrey Cox was in Mauritius this week. “Moonlighting MP Geoffrey Cox launched a defiant rearguard action amid his second job scandal yesterday, but the part-time politician’s defense has turned to farce this morning as it emerges he prepared his unrepentant statement some 6,000 miles away from Westminster in Mauritius. […] Cox missed at least two sitting parliamentary days this week because he was on the Indian Ocean holiday island of Mauritius. The Mirror’s Pippa Crerar reports he was on a “short business trip” and is a partner at an international law firm, Thomas More International, based in the country. Crerar says he was paired with opposition MPs allowing him to miss four Commons votes. In other words, he has had the week off from his job as an MP — other than publishing a statement on his website on Wednesday morning in which he claimed he always makes sure he considers his constituents to be of “primary importance.” Cox defends second job Cox, the former attorney general, on Wednesday defended his 400,000-pound ($540,000) a year second job, insisting he had not broken any rules. He said his work as a lawyer did not take him away from representing constituents in the southwest England district he represents in Parliament. Cox has been under fire for earning several times his 82,000-pound ($110,000) politician’s salary doing legal work, including advising the government of the British Virgin Islands in a corruption inquiry. He was allowed to vote by proxy in Parliament while he was in the Caribbean country, a British overseas territory. While carrying out external work is allowed, the Times newspaper published a video on Wednesday which appeared to show Cox taking part in a legal hearing from his parliamentary office, an apparent breach of the rules. In a defence of his second job, Geoffrey Cox claimed he gave “primary importance and fully carried out” his work in his constituency. “He does not believe that he breached the rules but will of course accept the judgment of the Parliamentary Commissioner or of the Committee on the matter,” Cox’s office said in a statement on his website. Members of Parliament are allowed to earn outside income, as long as they declare it and it does not shade into lobbying. According to Cox’s declaration, he is paid 400,000 pounds a year for up to 41 hours’ work a month. 4
VENDREDI 12 NOVEMBRE 2021 | BIZWEEK | ÉDITION 368 ACTA PUBLICA GLOBAL RISK SURVEY – OXFORD ECONOMICS Supply-chain crisis intensifies Supply-chain disruption poses the greatest risk to global economic recovery, according to the latest survey of risk perceptions by Oxford Economics. Businesses see persistent disruption as a greater threat to recovery than coronavirus developments. Only 1-in-5 of those affected by disruption think the worst of the crisis is behind us. Businesses have become more pessimistic over near-term prospects as a result. Respondents have downgraded their expectations for 2021 growth, while downside risks are perceived to have risen to their highest level in a year. The survey was completed by 148 businesses from October 18-29 Latest survey confirms rising business concerns on the back of ongoing supply-chain disruption. With only a minority (22%) of those affected by the disruption judging that the worst of the crisis has passed, businesses report greater pessimism over global economic prospects for the first time this year. Oxford Economics Global Risk Surveys canvas the views of Oxford Economics’ clients, including some of the world’s largest companies and other businesses. Based on the analysis of the Q1 2020 survey, the participating companies collectively employ around 6 million people and have a turnover of around $2 trillion. Businesses have become more pessimistic While more than a third of businesses (36%) report that they have actually become more positive about global prospects over the past month, for the first time in a year a greater number of respondents have become more negative (42%). Downside risks are perceived to have increased Against this backdrop, more than a half of respondents (56%) – the highest in a year – view risks to the baseline forecast for global growth as either slightly to the downslide Barrows, the provider of hotel investment and advisory services for hotels in the Middle East and Africa is preparing for a new digital revolution in making the hotel industry smarter. Anyone who thinks we are already there with digitization in the hospitality industry could not be further wrong. Service and Hospitality will innovate enormously in the years to come through numerous sleek technological applications and making buildings intelligent. By providing the hotel buildings with intelligent applications aimed at high-quality guest service during the construction phase, the use of smart technology in the workplace becomes a natural result. This concerns, for example, digital check-in and check-out and accelerated streamlining of payment processes while the hotel guest is inconvenienced as little as possible or would have to wait a long time. Customer satisfaction (50%, up from 43% in September’s flash survey) or heavily to the downside (7%, up from 1%). Almost a third of businesses (30%) see risks as balanced. Businesses foresee a less sharp near-term recovery Increased supply-chain concerns are reflected in the probability businesses attach to different global growth outcomes. On average, respondents attach more than 50% probability to growth lying in the 4%-6% range this year. But they see more chance of a weaker outturn, and less chance of stronger growth, than in last quarter’s survey. As a result, businesses’ mean expectation for world growth in 2021 has fallen – by some 0.8ppts – to 4.4%. This lies well below our baseline forecast of 5.6%. The mean expectation for 2022 of 3.9% is also a little weaker on the quarter, although little changed from last month’s flash survey. Businesses perceive increased near-term inflation pressures While businesses see weaker near-term growth prospects, price pressures are perceived to have risen. Their mean expectation for world inflation in 2022 has risen to 3.8% in 2022, up 0.3ppts on the quarter. But medium-term inflation concerns appear more contained. In line with evidence from last quarter’s survey, fewer respondents highlight stagflation as a very significant risk than for several other key risks. Businesses see numerous significant sources of disruption The survey suggests that material/input shortages are the most important source of supply-chain disruption, cited as very significant by more than two-fifths of respondents. But both transportation bottlenecks (26%) and temporary (e.g. Covid-related) labour shortages (23%) are cited as very significant by more than 1-in-5 respondents. In addition, structural labour shortages and other non-labour capacity constraints are seen as either significant or very significant by more than half of the respondents. Digital revolution will innovate the entire hotel industry “Fully automating the daily room check can save a lot of time and money, while the hotel room is always fully equipped with a full minibar, clean linen and a fully disinfected bathroom and toilet. All of these things can be fully automated and reduce costs for management,” says Chairman Erwin Jager of Barrows Hotel Enterprises. Logically, where people work, mistakes are made. With the use of automation and smart technology, this is prevented while customer satisfaction increases. It is true that human hands are needed to change the beds, but the supply and control can be fully automated in such a way that every hotel room receives the right attention day in, day out. “Why still work with customer-unfriendly water boilers, while there are already wonderful solutions for this that benefit customer-friendliness. I never understand the way some hotel operators are running their hotel. Always look true the eyes of the guest and create the best possible experience while staying in your hotel,” pursues Erwin Jager of Barrows. Ultimate experience With the use of new smart next gen technology, hotel management is much better able to optimize the attention for the customer. Consider, for example, the integration of sustainable eco green energy technology that always allows the building to be air-conditioned in the most sustainable way, doors that can be opened with a smartphone instead of the annoying cards that are very customer-unfriendly and unhygienic. The coming decades will be very interesting for the hotel industry. High End Next Gen applications will be developed in particular from the Tech industry to serve building and management in such a way that the hotel guest will automatically get all the attention and therefore gets the ultimate experience when staying in a hotel. Value added and optimization “Hotel guests should not experience any form of nuisance and that is exactly what we stand for at Barrows. We do not settle for less, but add value and optimize the daily business process in the hotel chain. Hospitality means serving people. That is a conscious choice for people who work in the hospitality industry, every day again. We are serving and we are proud on and good at it.” Barrows Hotel Enterprises internationally manages over 10,000 hotel rooms in more than 10 countries. The company started in 2008 as a real estate investor in the residential market in Dubai. Since 2012, Barrows has changed its strategy and the company is fully focused on the fast-growing hotel industry in the Middle East. Since 2020 Barrows is active in the African Continent. 5

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