Categorized | National News

New Parliament Design in the Works

By Gerrino J. Saunders
Journal Staff Writer

It has been many years now that parliamentarians from successive government
administrations have called for the construction of a new state-of-the-art
parliamentary building. However, back in 2014 plans to increase salaries for
members of parliament and to construct a House of Assembly received negative
feedback from the general public and was subsequently shelved.
While speaking in the House of Assembly on Monday, prior to debating the
resolution on the Speech from the Throne, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred
Mitchell revealed that Cabinet recently approved the construction of a new
parliamentary building to be located on the site of the old post office building
located on East Hill and East Streets.
While speaking about amendments to the Parliamentary Service Act and
improvements it would allow the government to make regarding the management
of the House of Assembly, Mr. Mitchell said, “The other job that we aspire to is
the creation of the new parliamentary building. The Cabinet made the decision
several weeks ago that the site at the top of Parliament Hill will now be the new
design site for the parliament.” This led to members of the house banging on
their desk in approval.
Continuing, Mr. Mitchell said, “The architects have been briefed and there is a
design which is ongoing as to what should go on the site and what it should
contain. But, it would be much better than the quarters in which we are, for both
staff, members of parliament, senators and the public because that’s what this is

all about. Can we deliver the services which the public demands from a building
that was built in 1815 and has not had one addition to it since?”
Minister Mitchell said by taking steps to build a new parliament, the Davis
administration is being “aspirational” for The Bahamas and thinking about the
future development of the country.
According to Mr. Mitchell, in addition to the new House of Assembly, the
Parliamentary Service Act will also provide for better management of the
“So, coming up, you can expect in the next session of the parliament further
amendments to the Parliamentary Service Act,” Mr. Mitchell said.
“And one of the things this will be designed to do is to synergize the relationship
between the resolution that was passed in the last session to create a Budget
Management Committee of the house with the present Parliamentary Service
Commission, which will take care of the management of the House of

Written by Jones Bahamas

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