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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Aug 10, 2017 - 10:16:16 AM


Cabinet Ministers & public officers must share common goal
By Matt Maura
Aug 9, 2017 - 9:39:59 PM

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PM_Parliamentarians_Orientation_Baha_Mar_Aug_9__2017._____135905_1_.jpg
Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis as he addressed the Parliamentarians and Governance in The Bahamas Seminar (Orientation for Parliamentarians Workshop), which opened August 9, 2017 at Baha Mar resort. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis Wednesday challenged Cabinet Ministers/Politicians and Public Officers to resist the bureaucratic inertia that can sometimes creep into the equation as both go about the execution of their duties.
 
“The public service has a necessary restraining role, but too often that restraining role becomes bureaucratic inertia,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “Sometimes there is resistance to innovation and change because of the excuse ‘We have always done it this way.’”

Delivering the keynote address at the Parliamentarians and Governance in The Bahamas Seminar (Orientation for Parliamentarians Workshop), which opened Wednesday (August 9, 2017) at Baha Mar resort, Prime Minister Minnis said Cabinet Ministers/Politicians and Public Officers have a duty to work together to advance the common good and best interests of the Bahamian people.

Prime Minister Minnis said Ministers are policymakers and should provide guidance for public officers on the policy and pragmatic agenda of the government of the day.

“A Minister is decidedly, not the Chief Administrator of his or her ministry.”

Dr. Minnis said merging of the lines in the past has resulted in some tensions between the political directorate and public officers in pursuit of their respective duties. Both parties, he said, must remember that they share a common goal --which is to advance the common good and best interests of the people they collectively serve.

“From my experience in government I realize that there are necessary tensions between the political directorate and the public service,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “As politicians we often want to move very quickly to advance various policy and programme objectives. Public Officers understandably, want to ensure that the necessary i’s are dotted and t’s crossed and that things are done properly.

“Human nature being what it is, both politicians and public officers zealously guard their prerogatives. But in doing so, we must always remember that we have a common goal. This goal is to advance the common good and best interests of the people we collectively serve.

“I remind my Ministers that our job is to set policy and not try to be the chief administrator of their respective ministries,” Prime Minister Minnis added.

Prime Minister Minnis told his colleagues and civil servants attending the event that the opportunity to be engaged in public service is a privilege and a public trust, not an entitlement “whether in Parliament and/or the Cabinet of The Bahamas or in the civil service.”

“We are primarily stewards and servants of the Bahamian people,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “Collegiality is an essential element of our system of cabinet government. We must ever be mindful of the silo mentality and temptation towards fiefdoms by Ministers and public officers which thwarts collaboration, innovation and ongoing reform in Government.”

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