During his Budget Contribution in the House of Assembly, on June 6, 2018, Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames said the Government places a high priority on national safety and security, and the protection of all Bahamians is one of our fundamental duties; and, in an effort to meet the demands of the 21st century, the Ministry of National Security is restructuring to strengthen the agency, making it more efficient and strategic in managing the affairs of the state.
“To align with this mandate, the Ministry has introduced new areas specifically Communications, Liaisons, Inspectorate and Research and Development,” Minister Dames said. “The Communications Section will play a key role in all facets of the organization as it promotes the mission and vision of the Ministry.
He noted that liaisons from the three branches of law enforcement under the Ministry’s purview allow for transparency and open communication between the Ministry and their respective agencies.
“The Inspectorate will serve under the Minister and provide guidance for each agency, to ensure they are meeting their respective goals,” Minister Dames added. “Finally, the Research and Development Section will provide input to underpin policy-making decisions.”
As Minister of National Security, Minister Dames stated, he had pledged to be honest in all his undertakings and resolved to work tirelessly to lead by example the men and women that comprised the agencies under his remit: The Ministry of National Security, The Bahamas Department of Corrections, Royal Bahamas Defense Force, Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Parliamentary Registry Department.
“As National Security Minister, I am resolute in re-framing our focus for the seamless and swift transformation of the Bahamas Department of Corrections from a penal facility to a correctional facility; protecting our borders through unprecedented capital expenditure; refocusing our actions coupled with a legislative agenda to launch an effective assault on criminal networks and modernizing our antiquated voter registration system,” he said.
Minister Dames revealed that the recurrent expenditure 2018/2019 of the Ministry of National Security amounts to $7,455,580, compared to 2017/2018 recurrent expenditure of $5,060,274, marking an increase over the previous year’s allocation.
“This increase is due to the following: establishment of the National Neighbourhood Watch Council with an allocation of $425,000; plans to reestablish the National Intelligence Agency with an allocated budget of $2 million; and an increase in the Citizen Security and Justice Programme’s allocation of $1.5 million this year compared to last year’s allocation of $1 million,” he pointed out.
Minister Dames also noted the following recurrent and capital expenditures for the agencies under his purview: Bahamas Department of Corrections – Recurrent Expenditures for 2018/2019 of $26,676,098 (compared to 2017/2018 at $25,310,467), and Capital Expenditures of $2,450,000 – located in Ministry of National Security budget – for a total increase by 15 percent (Recurrent and Capital combined); the Royal Bahamas Defence Force – Recurrent Expenditures for 2018/2019 of $74,050,015 (compared to 2017/2018 at $76,680,776), and Capital Expenditures of $14,172,000 – with $4,122,000 located in Ministry of National Security’s Budget – for a percentage change of three percent; the Royal Bahamas Police Force – Recurrent Expenditures for 2018/2019 of $127,907,570 (compared to 2017/2018 at $136,262,613), and Capital Expenditures of $2,878,000 – for a percentage change of four percent; and the Parliamentary Registration Department – Recurrent Expenditures for 2018/2019 of $1,442,700
(compared to 2017/2018 at $1,552,633), and Capital Expenditures of $2.5 million – representing an increase of 154 percent due to the digitization of voter registration.
“While the expenditure may seem weighty, at $7,455,580, it is for the national security of the country and will be used with the utmost fiscal responsibility,” Minister Dames said. “These funds not only represent recurrent expenditures of the Ministry but shows the growth of the Ministry and the ability to provide critical services for the nation and its people.”