Rolle clarifies public service disengagements

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of Public Service Brensil Rolle confirmed on Tuesday that less than 400 contracted workers were disengaged from the public service and not 2500 as was previously reported by some media agencies.

“We could not release 2500 individuals. What perhaps they are talking about is people whose contracts have expired and who were given specific dates to exit the service,” said Rolle while speaking to reporters before heading to yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.

According to Rolle, even though the public service expanded under the Christie administration, the FNM has not decreased the number of public servants, but they took a look at individuals who were brought in without contracts and/or knowledge of the public service.

Rolle said, “We are still dealing with some of the contracted individuals, but we see it as a positive matter and we are evaluating what contributions they can make.”

The public service minister said that they plan to strategically place these contracted workers in areas where the government really needs them.

He also informed reporters that they have regularized a substantial number of employees who were qualified and can contribute to the technical sector.

As for retirees, Rolle said that while he is unsure of the exact number of disengaged retirees, he knows that their release is not in vain, but it will allow the service to train and prepare younger Bahamians to fill these vacant roles.

“There is no need to have bottlenecks at the top of the service if there are capable individuals who can fill those bottlenecks,” Rolle stressed.

Minister Rolle said that despite all of the recent discussions about disengaged retirees and contracted workers; he believes that the public service sector has wonderful public officers and they are striving daily to deliver services to the public.

To date, about 21,000 persons make up the public sector.

In July of this year, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that the government will create a Public Service Modernization Unit in the office of the prime minister to tackle the modernization of the public service.

Rolle told reporters yesterday that he believes the FNM administration is on the right track with this initiative.

“We are only re-engaging specialized individuals in the service. We see this as an opportunity for the younger generation to move up,” Rolle said.

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