Bannister calls on employees to change perception of ministry

Bannister calls on employees to change perception of ministry
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of Public Works, Desmond Bannister, called on employees of the Ministry of Public Works (MOPW) to change the perception of the Ministry from “infrastructural firemen” to “innovators” as he assured them of a “people-centred” Ministry with an “enhanced” work environment.

“You will all appreciate from listening to at least one of our distinguished lecturers last year that even highly placed and experienced public servants do not know the true function and utility of this Ministry. We have to show them what we do, and what we can do to improve this country. Henceforth we will be the innovators in this country, not simply the firemen,” said Bannister.

The Works minister was addressing senior management, administrators and line-staff who were attending the 2019 opening of the Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS), which is an initiative of the MOPW.

The session was held at the northern compound of the Ministry of Works on JFK last Thursday, January 24.

Bannister told attendees that in many instances, they would have to take instructions from other Ministries, but there is no reason why they should not be seen as proactive leaders who make a difference.

“I expect that the leaders of each department will develop a focused approach to inspecting facilities, infrastructure and roads so that we can recommend appropriate action to the relevant Ministries before they begin to experience problems,” he said.

“Air conditioning systems and elevators should not have to break down or come to the end of their useful life before we belatedly respond, I am looking forward to us taking the initiative and adopting this approach throughout the Ministry, and I can also tell you that complacency will not be tolerated.

“On this issue of complacency, I want you to appreciate that everything we do impacts people’s lives. We have a duty to act promptly. We cannot let matters sit around for months without continuous follow-ups. Regrettably, I have been confronted with exactly that challenge too often in the past few months.” he said.

In his remarks, Bannister also touched on initiative and innovation, professional advancement, improvement and enhancement.  He also encouraged staff to eliminate “bad” practices.

“Where they occur, please stop voluntarily before they are curtailed for you,” he said.

“We must all say that the actions of the minority of bad apples, and they are a minority in this Ministry, will not be permitted to negatively impact our mission. I have high confidence that for the most part, we have the right people who will ensure that we continue to enhance the reputation of the Ministry of Public Works this year and beyond.”

Moreover, he urged the employees to take “ownership” of their Ministry and make it a “special” place for them and their colleagues.

“We have to show the country the impressive works that we do, and the skill that our staff have. We have outstanding carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, painters and other highly skilled employees. The daily operation of this country and the livelihood of our people depend on what you do every day.”


This article was written by Kathryn Campbell – Bahamas Information Services