Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, met with senior Administrators and Heads of Departments and Divisions of the ministry Thursday (February 7, 2019) to begin the process of ensuring greater ease in “addressing certain urgent legislative deficiencies.” Minister Campbell was joined by newly-appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Michael Foulkes; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Sherrylee Smith; David Cates, Permanent Secretary (Acting), Urban Renewal Commission; and Marva Brown, First Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development. Also in attendance were Heads from a number of the Divisions that fall under the auspices of the Department of Social Services, among them, Children and Family Services Division and Senior Citizens Division, in addition to the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
The Heads have further oversight and responsibility for the areas in which legislation either needs to be introduced or reviewed. Minister Campbell on Wednesday (February 6) welcomed Mr. Foulkes “into the Social Services family” stating that Ministry officials would rely upon one of Mr. Foulkes’ many strengths – that of being an Attorney-at-Law — to help guide and drive the Government of The Bahamas’ commitments to a number of key pieces of legislation as they relate to the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, its Departments and Divisions.
“We discussed what I believe at this time is the more urgent role that needs to be filled which falls aptly in line with one of the many skills Parliamentary Secretary Foulkes possesses and that is of being an Attorney-at-law to help us with the weaknesses or the non-existence of certain pieces of legislation,” Minister Campbell said. “Without hesitation, primary amongst them are the Regulations to support the Persons with Disabilities Act 2014, and legislation regarding Older Persons and Urban Renewal that need to be addressed. We also have a number of Conventions that we, as a country, are Signatory to and you would find in many instances that there may be lapses. That is our starting point,” Minister Campbell added.
Minister Campbell said the purpose of Thursday’s meeting was to: “introduce our new Parliamentary Secretary to Heads of Departments, particularly those who have oversight and responsibility for the areas [in which] I need legislation either introduced or reviewed.” “I wanted to establish a line of communication and the protocol that would ensure