|PLP ministerial confusion|
Published: Jul 12, 2012
There appears to be some confusion as to which minister holds responsibility for which portfolio matters in the new Christie-led Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government.
Already, the deputy prime minister and minister of public works and urban development has had cause to challenge public utterances by two of his colleagues. Firstly, he admonished Leslie Miller, member of Parliament for Tall Pines and newly announced chairman of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), for speaking out of turn and not following the ‘correct process’ in announcing his intention to oppose any vote brought to the House of Assembly in support of further borrowings for the completion of the New Providence road and utility improvement program.
More recently, he contradicted Minister of State Michael Halkitis who indicated that the applications for compensation submitted by business persons claiming financial losses resulting from the New Providence road work project were being actively evaluated ahead of compensation. However, according to the DPM the entire matter of compensation is still under review, suggesting that the government might not proceed with the Free National Movement (FNM) plan.
On another front, disgruntled BEC union spokesmen have publicly rebuked their new Chairman Leslie Miller’s assertion that no salary increases will be approved for union members unless such increases are paid for by layoffs of some employees. The union reps seem to believe that Miller was speaking out of turn and that they would rely upon the good offices of the minister responsible for BEC – that is, DPM and Minister of Public Works and Urban Development Phillip Davis.
I can only imagine the twisted pants of other ministers as their curious and overlapping portfolio allocations (from investments/Bahamas Investment Authority in the portfolio of the prime minister, to financial services, trade and industrial development in the portfolio of the Ministry of Financial Services, to urban renewal in the Ministry of Public Works and Urban Development, but also in the Ministry of National Security, police, and the Ministry of Social Services, to the entire portfolio of the Ministry for Grand Bahama) all create more and more opportunities for mixed messages and contradictory announcements to be made in the months ahead.
– Kirkland Turner