Base Lands Development Act 1996

Link to law: http://www.bermudalaws.bm/Laws/Annual%20Laws/1996/Acts/Base%20Lands%20Development%20Act%201996.pdf

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Base Lands Development 1996
The Laws of Bermuda
Annual Volume of Public Acts 1996 : 18

1

81

BERMUDA
1996 : 18

THE BASE LANDS DEVELOPMENT ACT 1996

[Date of Assent 12 July 1996]

[Operative Date 20 September 1996]

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

1 Short title and construction
2 Interpretation
3 Incorporation of Company
4 Application of 1981 Act
5 General purpose of Company
6 Status of Company, etc.
7 Members of Company
8 Restricted transactions
9 Leasing of land, etc.
10 Assurances relating to the

scheduled land

11 Business plans and budgets
12 Minister may give directions
13 Real estate operations
14 Indemnification of directors,

etc.
15 Employment of public officers
16 Annual financial statements

and reports
17 Commencement

SCHEDULE

WHEREAS—

(a) responsibility has reverted to Bermuda for certain lands
(known as "the Base Lands") that were formerly occupied
as military bases by foreign governments; and

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(b) it is expedient that special measures should be taken to
expedite the development of those Lands, including the
formation of a company to promote and supervise that
development; and that an Act should be enacted for
those and connected and incidental purposes:

Be it enacted by The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and
with the advice and consent of the Senate and the House of Assembly of
Bermuda, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Short title and construction
1 (1) This Act may be cited as the Base Lands Development Act
1996.

(2) This Act shall be construed as one with the 1981 Act.

Interpretation
2 In this Act the expression—

"the Company" means the company referred to in section 3;

"financial year", in relation to the Company, means the financial
year adopted by the Company;

"the Minister" has the meaning assigned to it by subsection (3) of
section 7;

"the 1981 Act" means the Companies Act 1981;

"the scheduled land" means the land described in the Schedule.

Incorporation of Company
3 If before the expiration of ninety days beginning on the date of
commencement of this Act a memorandum of association for the purpose
is delivered to the Registrar of Companies for registration under section
14 of the 1981 Act, then, subject to section 4 of this Act, the subscribers
to that memorandum shall become a local company limited by shares
upon registration in accordance with the said section 14, under the
name "the Bermuda Land Development Company Limited".

Application of 1981 Act
4 (1) Pursuant to section 4(1)(b) of the 1981 Act, the provisions of
the 1981 Act apply in relation to the Company except in so far as either
this Act expressly provides otherwise or this Act is inconsistent with
those provisions.

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(2) Where this Act is inconsistent with the 1981 Act, this Act
overrides the 1981 Act to the extent of the inconsistency.

(3) For the avoidance of doubt, it is declared that nothing in
section 286 or any other provision of the 1981 Act enables this Act to be
amended otherwise than by a public Act.

General purpose of Company
5 The general purpose of the Company is to manage, or oversee
the management of, the land entrusted to it with a view—

(a) generally, to the integration of that land into the
economic and social fabric;

(b) in particular, to the creation of opportunities for
increased employment now and in the future,

in furtherance of the well-being of the present and future generations of
Bermudians.

Status of Company, etc.
6 (1) The Company shall not be regarded as the servant or agent
of the Crown, or as enjoying any status, privilege or immunity of the
Crown; and its property shall not be regarded as property of, or property
held on behalf of, the Crown.

(2) The Company is not exempt from any tax, duty, rate, levy or
other charge whatsoever, whether general or local, except as provided in
subsections (3) to (7).

(3) The Company is not subject to foreign currency purchase
tax under the Foreign Currency Purchase Tax Act 1975 or to land tax
under the Land Valuation and Tax Act 1967.

(4) The exemption granted to the Company by subsection (3)
from land tax shall not enure to the benefit of any lessee or tenant of the
Company, and any such lessee or tenant shall be liable to land tax under
the Land Valuation and Tax Act 1967 as if he were the owner of the
premises the subject of his lease or letting, whatever the term of the lease
or letting, notwithstanding subsection (3).

(5) The Company is exempt from stamp duty under the Stamp
Duties Act 1976 ("the 1976 Act") in any case.

(6) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the 1976 Act,
this subsection and the rules set forth in subsection (7) below have effect
for the purpose of regulating liability to stamp duty under that Act
("duty") in any case where—

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(a) all the persons executing an instrument are expressed in
that Act to be liable for the duty; and

(b) the Company is one of the persons executing the
instrument.

(7) The rules referred to in subsection (6) above are as
follows—

(a) the Crown (where it is a person executing) and the
Company are not liable to duty;

(b) each person (other than the Crown or the Company)
executing the instrument is liable to duty on the basis
that—

(i) the Crown or the Company is, or, as the case
may be, both are, to be counted for the purpose
of establishing the number of persons executing
the instrument, notwithstanding paragraph (a)
above; and

(ii) each person executing is liable only for his
aliquot share of duty.

Members of Company
7 (1) The initial members of the Company shall be the Minister
and the Minister of Finance.

(2) A reference in this Act to a Minister being or becoming a
member of, or a shareholder in, the Company is a reference to him being
or becoming so in virtue of his office as Minister acting on behalf of the
people of Bermuda and not personally, notwithstanding anything to the
contrary in the 1981 Act.

(3) The expression "the Minister" in this Act means such
Minister (not being the Minister of Finance) as the Premier may from time
to time designate by instrument in writing as the Minister responsible for
the Company.

Restricted transactions
8 Unless authorised by the Legislature, a member of the Company
shall not—

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(a) sell or otherwise dispose of any shares in the Company
except to a Minister; or

(b) procure the dissolution of the Company, or its
amalgamation with any other person or body.

Leasing of land, etc.
9 (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary and
notwithstanding in particular —

(a) section 8 of the Department of Works and Engineering
Act 1984; and

(b) paragraph 12 of the First Schedule to the 1981 Act,

the Government may lease or let to the Company, for a term not
exceeding 131 years, all or any part of the scheduled land; and the
Company may accept and enter into any such lease or letting.

(2) The Government may grant to the Company, for a term not
exceeding 131 years, such easements as the Government may think
necessary or convenient over land retained by the Government, being
land adjacent to land leased or let by the Government to the Company
under subsection (1) or otherwise, so that access may be had by persons
or vehicles to that last-mentioned land.

(3) Except with the prior approval of both Houses of the
Legislature, the Company shall not make any lease or letting of any part
of the scheduled land to any person for a term exceeding 21 years or for
terms renewable at the option of the lessee or tenant exceeding in the
aggregate 21 years.

Assurances relating to the scheduled land
10 (1) The assurances and undertakings set forth in the following
provisions of this section are given for greater certainty.

(2) The Government owns the scheduled land in fee simple
absolute in possession.

(3) The Government shall hold the Company harmless against
any assertion by any foreign government or any other person of any right
to occupy or use any part of the scheduled land.

(4) The Government shall hold the Company harmless against
any assertion by any person of any right of pre-emption held by him
under the Acquisition of Land Act 1970 in respect of any part of the
scheduled land.

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(5) If it is discovered that any part of the scheduled land was
polluted or contaminated before the commencement of this Act in such a
way as to prevent or restrict its use or exploitation by the Company (or
by any person deriving rights through the Company) for normal and
customary purposes of residence or business, then the Government—

(a) in the case of the Company, shall hold it harmless
against any loss that the Company may suffer on
account of that pollution or contamination;

(b) in the case of a person deriving rights through the
Company and injuriously affected by that pollution or
contamination, shall also hold him harmless against any
loss that he may suffer on account of that injurious
affection, provided that the Government is satisfied, in
each case in advance, that an agreement has been
reached between him and the Company whereby the
pollution or contamination (in so far as he is so affected)
will be remedied to a standard satisfactory to the
Government.

(6) The above assurances and undertakings may be amplified
by the Government and the Company—

(a) in any lease or letting made under section 9; or

(b) in any agreement between the Government and the
Company, being an agreement ancillary to such a lease
or letting.

Business plans and budgets
11 (1) Before the commencement of each financial year, the
Company—

(a) shall prepare a business plan, an operating budget and
a capital budget; and

(b) shall prepare and send to the Minister a summary of
every such plan and every such budget.

(2) Every such plan, budget or summary shall encompass all
the businesses and activities, including investments, of the Company
and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, if any, and shall set out the primary
business decisions taken with respect to those businesses, activities and
investments.

(3) Every such plan, budget or summary shall be in a form that
clearly sets out information according to the primary businesses or
activities of the Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, if any.

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Minister may give directions
12 (1) The Minister may give a direction to the Company if he
considers it to be in the public interest for him to do so, and the
Company shall carry out any such direction.

(2) Before he gives a direction to the Company, the Minister
shall consult the Minister of Finance and the directors of the Company
with respect to the content and effect of the direction.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a
direction from the Minister may direct the Company to give to the
Minister, whether periodically or not, such information relating to the
operations of the Company as the Minister may specify in the direction.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a
direction from the Minister may direct the Company to make available to
any person, including the Government, property of the Company or a
service which the Company can provide.

(5) Where a direction is given under subsection (4), the
Government shall pay the Company for the property or service in
question the price determined by the Government after consultation with
the Company.

(6) Forthwith after carrying out a direction, the Company shall
inform the Minister in writing that the direction has been carried out.

Real estate operations
13 For the avoidance of doubt, it is declared that the Real Estate
Agents Licensing Act 1976 does not apply to the Company or to any
employee or agent of the Company acting within the scope of his
employment or agency.

Indemnification of directors etc.
14 (1) The Government shall indemnify a present or former
director or officer of the Company, and his legal representatives, against
any costs, charges or expenses, including any amount paid to settle an
action or satisfy a judgment, that are reasonably incurred by him in
respect of any civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding to
which he is a party by reason of being or having been such a director or
officer, if he—

(a) acted honestly and in good faith with a view to the best
interests of the Company; and

(b) in the case of a criminal or administrative action or
proceeding that is enforced by a monetary penalty,

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believed on reasonable grounds that his conduct was
lawful.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Government shall indemnify
a present or former director or officer of the Company, and his legal
representatives, against any costs, charges or expenses
incurred by him in connexion with the defence of any civil, criminal or
administrative action or proceeding to which he was made a party by
reason of being or having been such a director or officer, if he—

(a) was substantially successful on the merits of the action
or proceeding; and

(b) fulfils the conditions set out in paragraphs (a) and (b) of
subsection (1).

(3) Any amount payable in respect of indemnification under
this section may be paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

Employment of public officers
15 (1) The Governor, acting in accordance with the advice of the
Minister, may, subject to such conditions as the Governor, so acting,
may impose, approve the appointment of any public officer by way of
secondment to employment with the Company.

(2) A public officer seconded as mentioned in subsection (1) to
employment with the Company shall, in relation to pension, gratuity or
other allowance and rights and obligations of a public officer, be treated
as continuing in a public office notwithstanding the secondment.

(3) The Government may require the Company to pay, and the
Company shall have power to pay, to the Government such contribution
as the Government may determine is required to be made by the
Company to the Government's pension liability in respect of an officer
seconded as mentioned in subsection (1).

Annual financial statements and reports
16 (1) The Company shall prepare in respect of each financial year
financial statements in proper form, which shall be audited by the
Auditor.

(2) The Company shall as soon as may be after the end of each
financial year prepare a report on its operations during that year, and on
its policy and programme for future years.

(3) Every report under subsection (2) in respect of a financial
year shall include the text of every direction given by the Minister to the
Company under section 12 during that financial year.

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(4) The Company shall send to the Minister, within six months
after the end of each financial year, a copy of the set of financial
statements prepared under subsection (1), and of the report prepared
under subsection (2), in respect of that financial year.

(5) The Minister shall cause a copy of every set of financial
statements, and of every report, sent to him under this section to be laid
before each House of the Legislature.

Commencement
17 This Act comes into operation on such day as the Minister may
appoint by notice published in the Gazette.

THE SCHEDULE (Section 2)

ALL THOSE LANDS, being lands—

(a) occupied up to and including 31 August 1995 by the
Government of the United States of America pursuant to
the Treaty Agreement entered into in 1941 between that
Government and the Government of the United
Kingdom; and

(b) shown on the attached drawings prepared by the
Ministry of Works and Engineering, Parks & Housing
and respectively numbered—

5/15/7: the former Naval Air Station at St David's
in the Parish of St. George's;

2/11/5: the former Naval Annex in the Parishes of
Southampton and Sandys;

2/10/97: the former Operating Base at Tudor Hill in
the Parish of Southampton,

BUT EXCEPTING the several areas respectively marked A to H
on the drawing numbered 5/15/7;

AND ALSO the land for the most part formerly occupied as a Base by the
Government of Canada at Daniel's Head in the Parish of Sandys and
shown on the attached drawing prepared by the Ministry of Works and
Engineering, Parks & Housing and numbered 1/14/32.

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