Junior Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries Sworn-in

The composition of the new administration that will run the country for the next five years is now complete, with the swearing-in of 11 ministers of state and two parliamentary secretaries, at King’s House on (Sept. 17).
Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, in his remarks charged the appointees to approach the work of nation-building as a team.
Reminding them that their first calling is to serve the people, Mr. Golding said that, “there is going to be no place in the utterances that we make, in the conduct that we demonstrate, in the decision that we take; there is going to be no place for arrogance, no place for complicity.”
“I ask you to remember that the power that we will exercise does not belong to us. It belongs to the people, and it can never be transferred from the people. The people have placed it in our hands, simply for us to exercise that power on their behalf, in their interest, and in their name,” he stated.
The Prime Minister, who used the occasion to announce the portfolio responsibility for each appointee, explained that three junior ministers will be working out of the Office of the Prime Minister, undertaking in at least one instance, new projects to reform the government system and governance practices. They are Robert Montague, Daryl Vaz and Shahine Robinson.
Mr. Montague is assigned to work on local government reform, while Mr. Vaz will have responsibility for project implementation and service delivery, with a mandate to enable efficiency in the government system.
Mrs. Robinson has been assigned a new portfolio called Civic Responsibilities, where she will be in charge of a Constituency Development Programme to which Mr. Golding has pledged to commit at least 2.5 per cent of the budget, in order to provide Members of Parliament (MPs) with the power to run their constituencies more efficiently.
Mr. Golding noted that the money allocated for constituency development will be subject to “stringent auditing requirements” by the Auditor General and MPs will be expected to produce a proposed five-year constituency development plan by the end of each fiscal year, for which funds will be allocated upon approval.
The other appointees are: Andrew Gallimore, Ministry of Labour and Social Security; Joseph Hibbert, Transport and Works; Everald Warmington, Water and Housing; Michael Stern, Industry, Commerce and Investment; William J.C. Hutchinson, Agriculture; Laurence Broderick, Energy, Mining and Telecommunications.
Arthur Williams and Dr. Ronald Robinson, who were sworn in as Senators, will serve as Ministers of State in the Ministries of National Security and Foreign Affairs and Trade, respectively.
Warren Newby and Aundre Franklyn, who were also appointed Senators, will serve as Parliamentary Secretaries in the Ministries of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports and Health and Environment, respectively.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall, who presided over the ceremony, reminded the appointees that their challenge over the next five years “will be how to meet the expectations of the Jamaican people for an improved quality of life within a democratic political system and a stable society.”
He urged them to discharge their responsibilities with a spirit of understanding, while exhibiting excellence as the hallmark of their tenure.
In the meantime, with only seven of 13 senators already appointed, Mr. Golding indicated that he will be advising the Governor-General of his nominations for the remaining six persons to serve in the Senate before the end of this week.

JIS Social