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BAHAMAS: Workshop held for Determining National Strategy for the Development of Statistics

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#Bahamas, February 23, 2018 – Nassau – The Ministry of Finance held a workshop designed to engage and seek the input of all key stakeholders before drafting the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS, which would benefit national planning and evidence-based decision making.   The workshop was held at SuperClubs Breezes, Monday, February 19, 2018.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest said, “This strategy, we fully expect, will serve as the strategic plan that will provide the roadmap to establishing strategic governance, planning and monitoring of the Bahamas National Statistical System: including the Department of Statistics and the other data producing agencies across government.”

Attendees at the workshop included data producers from various government ministries, users of this information, and other stakeholders such as the business community, academia, media, civil society, and other non-government organizations, and will help to:

 

  • Prioritize the results and recommendations from the National Statistics System (NSS) assessment; and

 

  • Discuss and come to a consensus on matters pertaining to the NSDS strategic framework such as the vision, mission, goals, and strategic objectives.

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DPM Turnquest explained that having a plan is not enough, by itself.  He said there are a number of other necessary activities that must be completed if the project is to be done properly, and it is going to be done properly.

The DPM said along with the plan, this year the Government will also conduct a NSS-wide Business Processes Review focused on detailed analysis of current (as-is) processes, identification of gaps, benchmarking with existing standards and best practice, and design of future (to-be) processes to enable a seamless, integrated, effective, and efficient National Statistics System.

This will also include an assessment of the information technology functional and technical capacity to deliver the kind of National Statistics System that you will all help to shape.

Stakeholders(1)He said additionally, recognizing the human resource challenges faced, the government will also conduct a Human Resource (HR) audit that is expected to identify those areas of the Department of Statistics and the National Statistics System in need of improvement, as well as their strengths, while taking into consideration the proposed new structure for the Department of Statistics and the National Statistics System.

“It will include the review of various HR policies, systems, documentations, and rules and regulations and will assess the efficiency and productivity of employees. Additionally, various aspects of the HR department in the Department of Statistics, such as employee compensation, recruitment and training, employee perks, job descriptions, performance evaluation procedures, termination procedures, etc. will also be reviewed.”

DPM Turnquest told the participants that they were all chosen for a very specific reason.

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“Your unique knowledge of the underlying issues that have us in the state that we are currently in with respect to official statistics is going to be vital for identifying the short, medium and long-term goals of this project; and, for its implementation in the very near future.

“Based on the findings of the assessment, it was determined that there is limited analysis and report writing that takes place using the data produced. This has contributed to a limited use of the data that is available for planning and evidence-based decision-making.”

He said, “Moving forward, you may determine that we must have, as a goal, greater use of statistics for policy, planning and decision-making. But you must also tell us whether, in order to achieve this, we must have short term objectives such as increasing awareness about the benefits of statistics to society, increasing user satisfaction, or other effective strategies.”

By: Llonella Gilbert (BIS)

Photo Captions:

Header: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest opens the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics Validation and Strategic Planning workshop at SuperClubs Breezes, Monday, February 19, 2018.  (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

Insert: Key Stakeholders attend the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics Validation and Strategic Planning workshop, Monday, February 19, 2018.  (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

 

 

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124 HAITIAN NATIONALS REPATRIATED TO CAP-HAITIEN, HAITI

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#TheBahamas, May 21, 2024 – On Wednesday, May 15, the Department effectively executed the repatriation of a group of illegal migrants from the Lynden Pindling International Airport, New Providence to Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

At approximately 9:11 a.m., a Bahamasair chartered flight departed New Providence en route to Haiti with one hundred twenty-four (124) Haitian nationals onboard; a hundred and eight (108) adult males, thirteen (13) adult females and three (3) minors. The Department’s Deportation and Enforcement Units led the escort.

All security and health protocols were observed as the safety and welfare of our officers, law enforcement counterparts and migrants remain the highest priority.

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Introducing The Bahamas Cannabis Authority; Marijuana Bill tabled by Darville

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – A medical marijuana industry is set for establishment in The Bahamas, following the tabling of the Cannabis Bill, 2024, in the House of Assembly, by Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Dr Michael Darville, May 15.

The Minister said objective of legislation is to set up a framework to establish The Bahamas Cannabis Authority, and to regulate the of importation, exportation, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, producing, sale, possession, distribution, and use of cannabis.

He told the Assembly that the law represents a thoughtful and balanced approach and was driven by a duty to act as he referenced the number of Bahamians who are battling cancer and in need of alternative treatments for pain management and other related issues.

“The legislative package, the Cannabis Bill, 2024 is designed to introduce a controlled system of cannabis use in medical treatments. The bill establishes the Bahamas Cannabis Authority.  A regulatory body overseeing all aspects of cannabis management and cultivation and distribution.  The authority’s mandate is to ensure that cannabis production and use are safe, controlled and effectively integrated into our health care system,” Minister Darville said.

Adding that the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that he also tabled, reclassifies cannabis by removing it from the dangerous drug list, now recognises its potential for medical use, he said the change aligns “our nations laws” with evolving global perspectives on cannabis.

The new law makes provisions for the licensing of cannabis handlers across various aspects of The Bahamas, and Dr. Darville said the licensing is structured to prioritise Bahamian ownership, with provisions ensuring that significant control remains in the hands of Bahamian nationals, fostering local entrepreneurship and economic benefits “for Bahamians across the country.

“We are here to make a difference, to enact change, remove years of stigma and transform lives by offering alternative treatments by way of medical cannabis.  The legislation before us offers a careful, considerate approach ensuring that we prioritize the wellbeing and safety of our citizens. Let us move with compassion,” he said.

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Pinder announces Trial by Judge Alone, New Courts, Harsher Penalties in Judicial Reform legislative Package

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – The Bahamian Government has moved to open new courts, increase penalties for serious and violent crimes, as part of its reform of the judiciary to create efficiency in the system, and gang reduction efforts.

Outlining the administration’s legislative agenda on crime reduction, and judicial reform, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator, the Hon. Ryan Pinder said in the coming months there will be the opening of the juvenile and family courts allowing “us to bring on new judges for criminal and civil matters.

“We also anticipate establishing this year a commercial court that will be focused on hearing commercial disputes to ensure that the pace of business is not impaired by delays in trials,” the Minister said while addressing the Senate on May 15.

He was presenting the second reading of the Trial by Judge Alone (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2024 and The Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which allows for the Supreme Court (Criminal Case Management) (Amendment) Rules, 2024.

Senator Pinder said the bills are in line with the commitment of this Government to ensure that the necessary laws are in place to facilitate the “timely and effective” administration of justice.

Stressing that the administration have been working hard this legislative session to put in place the improvements in law to address the judicial system as well as the treatment of bail for an accused, and ensuring stiff penalties for major criminal violations, he said  the Government have passed a series of legislation to facilitate trials and prosecution of criminals.

“I would suggest that we have done more on the legislative front than any former administration to address crime, and we are not done.”

“The Magistrates (Amendment) Bill increased the financial thresholds of the jurisdiction of a Magistrate to hear certain matters and adjusted the maximum penalties. The broadening of the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court is intended to rebalance cases between the Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court in order to relieve the volume of minor disputes from the calendar of the Supreme Court,” he said.

For the magistrate’s court, he said, it is many instances the primary court for many civil and criminal cases, and especially in civil matters operating more of a small claims court, and the jurisdictional limits increased had not been adjusted in many years, and the operation of society has outpaced their limits.

The Court Services Bill empowers the judiciary to operate autonomously from an administrative point of view, by taking away oversight by central Government, thereby removing the bottleneck caused by the current system and providing further judicial independence.

For the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill, it increases the maximum number of Supreme Court judges from 20 to 25, increasing the capacity to conduct trials in the Supreme Court by 25%.

“It is the Government’s intention that this not only contribute significantly to concluding the backlog of cases but will also give the Chief Justice the flexibility he requires to better allocated judges through the courts,” the Minister said.

The Trial by Judge Alone (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2024, to grant a right of election to persons charged with indictable offences in the Supreme Court to be tried by a Judge alone.

“We believe this is a positive legislative reform to provide yet more support for timely trials in criminal matters,” the Minister said.

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