A new telephone system, building renovations, an increase in its fleet of vehicles and confirmations of positions are among the 2019 successes for the Ministry of Public Works. The Hon. Desmond Bannister, Minister of Public Works, in his annual New Year’s charge to staff said the MOPW has seen some “huge” leaps forward. “We received 33 vehicles at a cost of $1.6 million, which represents half of the vehicles that we expect to get. I am going to be working to get the other half of our vehicles this year, and I promise you that when they arrive, most of them will be assigned to our work crews, not to individuals, said Minister Bannister.
“After many years, we now have a new telephone system. BTC is still working on it, but we expect that the entire Ministry will soon be able to communicate with the world, and to have appropriate data services. We made recommendations for 90 persons to be appointed to the permanent and pensionable establishment; and 58 of those appointments were made.” Renovations to the 50-year-old building are among the Ministry’s accomplishments. “The first floor of the main building has been completely renovated, and we are moving on now to the third floor. Over a period of time, each floor will be renovated. We had a small setback with the fire recently, but I assure you that that the renovations will continue so that we can improve the work environment,” said Minister Bannister.
Improvement plans this year include: renovations and painting of the entire exterior of the building, installation of hurricane impact windows, repairs to the roof, upgraded alarm system, environmental cleaning. Minister Bannister addressed employees on Wednesday, February 6, 2020, during a meeting at the northern compound of the Ministry on JFK. Cora Colebrooke, Permanent Secretary; Melanie Roache, Director; Gregory Butler, Deputy Permanent Secretary; department heads and line staff were present for the meeting. He expressed appreciation to the employees for their work, skills sacrifices and commitment and for making life better for all Bahamians.
Furthermore, Minister Bannister implored the staff to be “proactive” and “responsive” in their duties. “We have to do better, and we will do better. All over this island are mangled signs; damaged crash barriers; fallen road signs just lying there in some cases for years; useless safety barriers….and the list goes on. The public has a right to expect more from us, said Minister Bannister. “We have a right to expect more from ourselves. This year we have to be more proactive and much more responsive. I’m counting on you counting on you. This Ministry is counting on you. The entire country is counting on you,” he added.