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OECD pays tribute to Colin Powell CBE

29 November 2019

Colin Powell

The Minister for External Relations has just attended the tenth anniversary meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information (“the Global Forum”).

Senator Ian Gorst led Jersey’s delegation at the event in Paris, which brought together 64 Ministers and delegates from 186 countries. The event was opened by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and the first address was from French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

This year’s 10th anniversary plenary of the Global Forum provided an opportunity to highlight the successes of the Global Forum, reaffirming the progress that has been made on transparency and exchange of information, as well as a chance to discuss the agenda for the development of international tax standards in the years to come.

Senator Gorst had discussions with the Finance Ministers of Portugal, Luxembourg, and South Africa as well as with OECD Tax Director Pascal Saint-Amans and Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs.
Delegates at the 10th anniversary meeting also took time to reflect on the life and achievements of the late Colin Powell CBE, who served as the Government of Jersey’s representative to the Global Forum over many years.

In a highly-unusual honour, Mr Saint-Amans paid tribute to the outstanding personal contribution that Colin Powell made to the work of the Global Forum – noting his expertise in explaining Common Law trusts to delegates from Civil Law countries and highlighting his steadfast commitment to advancing the adoption of the Common Reporting Standard for automatic exchange of information.

Senator Gorst said: “Colin’s contribution to Jersey’s financial services industry, and to the island itself, is incalculable. But Colin’s influence and activity extended far beyond the Island’s shores. He was immensely proud of the work he undertook within the OECD and has instilled in Jersey a deep and lasting commitment to shaping and upholding international standards. It was fitting and moving for Colin’s contribution to be recognised in this manner at the international plenary meeting.”

Government officials are working with the Jersey Financial Services Commission and Jersey Finance to establish a memorial to mark the significant contribution to Jersey made by the late Colin Powell CBE, who died in May after fifty years of public service.

The plans, which will be unveiled shortly, include a proposal to establish a series of memorial lectures to be delivered in Jersey by respected international speakers who are active in public life.

Senator Gorst added: “We believe this would be an appropriate way to honour Colin’s life and work, and continue his enthusiasm for discussion and debate on the big issues of the day.”

OECD Global Forum

In 2009, the G20 Leaders declared that “the era of banking secrecy is over” and established the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) to ensure global tax transparency. Ten years on, the world has changed significantly, to a level few could have predicted. The Global Forum now has over 150 members and tax transparency standards are firmly embedded.

Jersey was an early member of the Global Forum and served as Vice Chair of the Global Forum’s Peer Review Group and Vice Chair of its working group on Automatic Exchange of Information.

Colin Powell CBE

Colin started working for the States of Jersey as Economic Advisor in 1969 and was working as International Affairs Advisor when he died at the age of 81.
Colin held many key positions: chairing the Jersey Financial Services Commission for ten years and advising ministers on International Affairs.

Colin received many awards and was immortalised in an oil painting commissioned by Jersey Heritage.

  • in 2005 Colin was awarded the CBE for services to Financial Regulation and to the community in Jersey
  • in 2009 Colin took on the role of Vice Chair for a Peer Review Group set up by the OECD. This group developed terms of reference for a robust, transparent process to assess how effectively the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes were being implemented by individual jurisdictions.
  • in 2013 IOD Jersey awarded Colin a Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Colin was a long-standing member of Rotary
  • for many years Colin devoted time and energy to the welfare of children – bringing his understated brand of leadership, integrity and vitality to chairing the Jersey Child Care Trust and helping to secure a new centre for the NSPCC in Stopford Road, St Helier.

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