Premier Paula Cox intends to "tighten controls on spending and project management". *File photo
Premier Paula Cox intends to "tighten controls on spending and project management". *File photo
MONDAY, NOV. 1: Premier Paula Cox will take direct control of capital projects following her reshuffle of Ministerial responsibilities this morning.

The Premier published a detailed explanation of the changes this afternoon, after announcing her Cabinet earlier today.

In a press release, through the Department of Communication and Information (DCI), she said she would combine the architectural design and construction section formerly within Works and Engineering with a new division of contract and project management to form a Procurement Office.

The DCI press release said the move signaled a “clear intention to tighten controls on spending and project management”.

Full DCI press release:

Premier, The Hon. Paula A. Cox JP, MP unveiled significant changes in the composition of Ministries today. In the Finance portfolio retained by the Premier, HM Customs has been streamlined to permit a newly styled Minister of National Security to have responsibility for border control and interdiction while the revenue collection function remains within Finance.

Signaling her clear intention to tighten controls on spending and project management, the Premier also assumes responsibility for the architectural design and construction section formerly within Works and Engineering and it is joined with a new division of contract and project management to form a Procurement Office.

"I promised to reconfigure and reshape the way we do business and these changes deliver on that promise," the Premier said.

“The heartland of Government's care and concern for the people..." the Premier said in describing the Ministry of Youth, Families and Community Development. This new Ministry will administer the transformational Mirrors programme and combine the "helping" services of Financial Assistance and Child and Family Services.  Youth, Sport and Recreation and the Department of Human Affairs round out this community-based ministry.  

"Minister Blakeney will forge key partnerships in a continuum of care catering to all aspects of making our communities stronger and empowering our youth and families".

Under new Attorney General and Minister of Justice Michael Scott, the portfolio combines the Department of Corrections, Department of Court Services and the Department of National Drug Control.

"The administration of justice must be cohesive and providing one Ministry will all the elements to prevent recidivism is key," the Premier continued.

Two new Ministries among those created demonstrate a keen focus on the Island's economy. Sen. Kim Wilson becomes Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, which assumes responsibility for the work permit regime as well as "the natural synergy" between Labour and Training.

The Ministry of Business Development and Tourism sees a return to Cabinet of Mrs. Patrice Minors who will be tasked with heading the development and growth of the Island's existing twin economic pillars: International Business and Tourism. "This is an exciting area," the Premier continued. "There has long been a desire to better align these two sectors and combining these responsibilities with an emphasis on development will instill confidence in Bermuda and our future in these two areas."

A clear and sharp focus on public safety issues is evidenced in the new ministry of National Security.  Lt. Col. David Burch will now add border control elements of Customs to his portfolio and retains the Police and the Bermuda Regiment. "Combining these critical functions under this experienced Minister will result in a stronger interdictive force against the scourge of drugs and guns in the community. This flows from the Gang Task Force joint initiative and will strengthen the efforts of our uniformed, front-line services," the Premier indicated.

"This Cabinet unites significant experience with fresh faces and we are committed and well equipped to meet the challenges facing Bermuda today."