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Members of The Cabinet of The Bahamas

There is great consternation in the public service over the proposed reshuffle of the Cabinet of The Bahamas. In addition to the movement of some Ministers, there is also uncertainty on how Permanent Secretaries would be affected.

In time for the opening of a new session of the Parliament in early October, Prime Minister Philip Davis is expected to reassign some Ministers and Permanent Secretaries to reset his government to carry it into general elections.

A source close to the Prime Minister told the Journal, “Mr. Davis is reacting to significant complaints from stalwarts of the governing Progressive Liberal Party and the disillusionment in the general population over the activities of Ministries and their day-to-day administration.”

The Ministries to be most affected by the reshuffle are Works and Utilities, Labour and Immigration, Agriculture and Local Government, Housing and Foreign Affairs and the Public Service.

It is now well known that Minister Alfred Sears will be moved to Immigration from the Ministry of Works.  While Sears has fulfilled some promises made in that Ministry, it is believed that he is uncomfortable with the operations at the level of civil servants.

“That Ministry needs to be cleaned up,” said the source.

There is no doubt that the Immigration portfolio is being taken away from Keith Bell mainly because of the faux pas made relating to presenting citizenship papers to a Haitian family at a funeral. While Minister Bell did not break any law, it was a bad judgment, which he has reportedly acknowledged.

The Minister of State for Public Service Hon. Pia Glover Rolle is expected to be promoted to a substantive Minister and could also take the Ministry of Labour.  She has worked under the present Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service Hon. Frederick Mitchell for the past two years.  However, most observers know that she was given full authority there as Mitchell has been extremely busy and engaged in Foreign Affairs matters. It is clear to all and sundry that Mitchell has reestablished The Bahamas as a big player in multilateral matters in the Caribbean and the Americas.

The source says that Minister of Transport and Housing Jobeth Davis is to be given the portfolio of Aviation now held by Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper who is also Minister of Tourism and Investments.

The State of the Environment is of major concern to the Prime Minister, according to the source. How that Ministry will be affected by the reshuffle is not known, but there is aggregation for decisive action to bring about the improvement in the maintenance of the environment in New Providence in particular.

“There are intercessory prayers going on in many Ministries among public servants for the removal or reassignment of a number of Permanent Secretaries. The Prime Minister is aware of some of them who are obstructionists and mean spirited and who are holding back progress,” said the source.

There are a number of Permanent Secretaries who are at the age of retirement or past that age who still wish to remain in the service.

Over the next several days many of them will know their fate.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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