Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell thanked employees across the Ministry and its various Departments and Divisions for “rising to the national call” yet again in providing ongoing and expanded social assistance to those families and individuals qualifying for that assistance. This includes employees in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and the Family Islands. Minister Campbell said that service began prior to the passage of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which devastated some areas of the Northern Bahamas — parts of Grand Bahama and Abaco in particular — in what officials say was the country’s largest humanitarian relief response. It has continued with the government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic this year.
Minister Campbell said personnel across the Ministry have, and are being required, to multi-task in order to fulfill their regular obligations to clients while taking on expanded roles. “Notwithstanding the challenges of Dorian and COVID-19 that have added to the demands on us as a Ministry and a Department, we have no choice but to multi-task because those other persons who rely and depend on us will not accept that they are not being served or serviced because of these two events,” Minister Campbell said. “We cannot put their lives on pause and so with the same amount of staff, and in many instances the same amount of resources, we are forced to spread ourselves. It is for that reason that I would never stop commending the staff, the team here, because it is them who make it happen. From the government’s point of view, we advance the policy, but they are the ones who make it happen.”
Minister Campbell said the digitization and technological reform underway at the Ministry and its various Departments and Divisions is expected to ‘revolutionize’ the delivery of social assistance throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and is in line with the Government of The Bahamas’ ongoing digitization and modernization project. He said the process will allow officials to manage client information “from the time they enter our doors to that time when they become sufficiently independent that they no longer need our assistance.” Implementation of the ProMis Management Information System will be at the forefront of social assistance reform in The Bahamas.
“ProMis will allow us to be able to make projections based on accurate, real-time data and for supervisors in New Providence, who are a part of our team, anywhere social assistance is provided, to be able to access work that is being done by any other team member within their remit in real-time from a tablet. “It will also improve efficiency and efficacy of service while also providing the Government of The Bahamas with accurate, real-time data with which to make projections and decisions. ProMis will also fulfill our desire to be even more transparent and accountable to the Bahamian people. The benefits will accrue for all involved (employees, clients, vendors, partners) throughout the entire Bahamas. This is the beauty of this system that holds so much ‘ProMis.’
“And so I ask the public, even when there may be, or seems to be, apparent justification for them being frustrated because of a delay, to try to understand and appreciate that delay is not owing to negligence or lack of concern, but that it is because there are so many moving parts and we are trying to satisfy so many people all at once. There is light at the end of the tunnel very soon,” Minister Campbell assured.