NASSAU, The Bahamas — During her Speech from the Throne on October 4, 2023, Governor General Her Excellency the Most Hon. Cynthia Pratt said that in preparation for this new phase of the legislative agenda, her Government has already announced changes in various cabinet portfolios, which include creation of new ministries.
In light of the recent, sad and sudden passing of one of the senior members of the Cabinet, the Hon. Obadiah Hercules Wilchcombe, Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, further changes will have to be made, Her Excellency said during the Opening of the New Session of Parliament in Parliament Square.
Her Excellency added that other changes in public service appointments are already underway.
“These changes will further support my Government as it continues to build on the progress made, and drive new change in the country.
“In this next phase of the administration, my Government will continue to intensify its focus on strengthening Personal Security, Economic Security, and National Security.
Her Excellency said in continuing to intensify its focus on promoting Personal Security, Her Government’s legislative agenda:
• Moves decisively to boost the number, type and quality of jobs available to Bahamians;
• Takes a holistic approach to improving educational outcomes for all;
• Supports the development of our young people; and
• Promotes better Health & Wellness among the general population
Her Excellency said her Government firmly believes that the main path to greater Personal Security is through work and education.
“While the country currently enjoys one of the lowest levels of unemployment experienced in a long time, as yet, not everyone who wants a job, has one.
“And those who choose to start their own business, and work for themselves, still face too many obstacles.”
Her Excellency explained that her Government will actively enforce its policy of promoting and protecting jobs for Bahamians.
“As the Father of the Nation, former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling put it, my Government will prioritize ‘Bahamian jobs for Bahamian workers.’
“A new unit will be formed to review ‘Notice Of Vacancy’ processes, to ensure that Bahamians have a fair opportunity to apply for all available jobs that are created, as our economy grows and diversifies.”
Her Excellency said tourism remains the country’s number one industry and the largest source of employment.
“My Government will continue to advance measures not only to expand jobs and opportunities in the sector, but also to promote greater economic ownership by Bahamians.
“My Government will establish in law, a ‘Downtown Management Authority’ to oversee the continued revitalization of Downtown Nassau.
“My Government will implement the Family Island Airport Renaissance Project to accelerate the redevelopment of airports throughout The Bahamas.”
Her Excellency noted that in its role as employer, her Government will continue to implement measures to improve the working life of public service employees and build on the progress already made in achieving an historic number of union agreements.
“My Government will implement the first public service-wide promotion exercise in nine years.
Her Excellency said amendments to existing legislation will be proposed to prevent the current long-standing backlog of overdue promotions and reclassifications happening again, and a Public Service Reform Bill will also be introduced to modernize the approach and governance of public servants. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)