PRESIDENT David Granger, after seven months in office, has had the opportunity to identify policy areas that need strengthened ministerial attention, and has made some adjustments to match those national needs with some changes in ministerial responsibility.A release from the Ministry of the Presidency said the Head of State made it clear that these changes do not involve any changes to his Cabinet, and do not mean that there is an increase in the size of the Cabinet or that there is reshuffling. They are, instead, a step towards developing capacity in certain policy areas.
Making the official announcement that Minister of Tourism, Catherine Hughes, will now be named Minister for Public Telecommunications while maintaining ministerial responsibility for Tourism, President Granger said, “The reason is that, after seven months, we detected a gap that there is no single spokesperson in the National Assembly, a ministerial spokesperson dealing with the digital economy [and] dealing with information technology. So we decided that it was necessary to have a minister responsible for information and communication technology.”
Additionally, the Ministry of Governance and Protection of the National Patrimony is being renamed the Ministry of Natural Resources. Minister Raphael Trotman will now be named Minister of Natural Resources.
The President added that there will also be some non-Cabinet movement. While applauding the work that Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Simona Broomes, has done, President Granger said that her knowledge of the hinterland makes her a great asset to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
“Minister Broomes has tremendous energy and skill, and she is going to be functioning from the Ministry of Natural Resources. She has a very good knowledge of the hinterland, and we are concerned with the enforcement of certain practices and regulations in that ministry,” the President said.
Minister Keith Scott will move to the Ministry of Social Protection, and will be responsible for labour issues. A new minister within the Ministry of Communities will be appointed. Member of Parliament and Chief Executive Officer of the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN), Valerie Sharpe-Patterson, has received the nod for that post because of her strong administrative experience.
President Granger iterated that there is no increase in the number of ministries, and added that where gaps are identified, he is prepared to address them.
Below is a complete list of adjustments, effective January 1, 2016.
Ministry of Communities
Keith Scott, MP, Minister within the Ministry, moves to the Ministry of Social Protection; Valerie Sharpe-Patterson, MP, is appointed Minister within the Ministry.
Ministry of Governance
This ministry within the Ministry of the Presidency is re-designated Ministry of Natural Resources. Raphael Trotman, Minister of Governance within the Ministry of the Presidency, is appointed Minister of Natural Resources; Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Simona Broomes, MP, moves to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Ministry of Public Infrastructure
This ministry relinquishes responsibility for public telecommunications.
Ministry of Social Protection
Minister within the Ministry, Simona Broomes, MP, moves to the Ministry of Natural Resources; Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Keith Scott, MP, moves to the Ministry of Social Protection.
Ministry of Public Telecommunications
This Ministry has been established. Minister of Tourism, Catherine Hughes, MP, is appointed Minister of Public Telecommunications.
Ministry of Tourism
Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, MP, will retain responsibility for tourism in addition to her new duties.