Categorized | National News

Pintard Consultancy Allocations

The allocations for consultancy services in the government’s national budget has increased  dramatically.

In the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources the allocation jumped   from $30,000 to $320,000, a figure Minister Michael Pintard said is still not enough.

“We believe that the $300,000 is not sufficient, so we are going to gradually each year seek to increase the amount of funding.

“There is a wide range of areas where consultants are required. One of the things that we are doing now is converting to E-Agriculture, so that much of the permits for example that you would apply for online you would be able to do so from your Smartphone, Laptop and that’s both for Agriculture as well as for Marine Resources.

“So we have just finished developing the mechanism in order to do that so that someone doesn’t have to for example land in East End, Grand Bahama and go to the Administrators Office to get a permit, they can do all of that online,” Minister Pintard said.      

Mr. Pintard  pointed out that the previous administration paid one consultant the same amount allocated this budget period for a number of consultancy services in different areas. 

Meantime, while in domestic travel, the allocation jumped from $15,000 to $52,000 plus, the minister said this too is not enough.

“In terms of in country travel, as you would be aware, we are engaged in several consultations as we speak.” 

“One of them is with respect to dealing with the issue of conch and having a candid discussion with fisherman throughout the country about what our concerns are, about the pressures that have been brought on the conch stock and getting their feedback on what we intend to do over the course of the next six months.

“The same thing is true with the Nassau Grouper; we have just allocated $20,000 to the preeminent expert on the Nassau Grouper who happens to be a Bahamian helping to defray some of the cost on the study of the Nassau Grouper which again we have been in discussions with fisherman and others throughout the Family Islands and then of course we are also in discussions about the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs),” he said. 

The budget for international travel shifted from $35,000 to over $90,000. 

“In some cases, as in the case of BAIC for example, CEDA; or in the case of agriculture, attending meetings whether it’s with CARICOM, Commonwealth ACP, with the United Nations or with any of those inters governmental agencies.

“I think we have been very productive in terms of what we have been able to get out of those meetings.” 

“We’re having bilateral discussions with other countries to gain benefits for The Bahamas and we’re also having discussions with inter-governmental agencies to get benefits,” Minister Pintard said. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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